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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Richard Caswell to William Caswell
Caswell, Richard, 1729-1789
May 04, 1783
Volume 16, Pages 958-960


Hillsborough, 4th May, 1783.

Dear Son:

This is intended to go by Mr. Nashes Servant who has promised to call at Newington and by whom I wrote two days ago to your Mother. Your Friends & Acquaintances here are Generally in health, Capt. Randal left this very unwell yesterday evening, the Secretary also not well. Several Members of the lower Country are complaining. I suppose the two Houses which are now pretty full will be thin’d in the Course of this week. Ten days ago Govr. Martin was re-elected by 66 Votes against 49 who voted for me. Mr. Johnston & Gen. Rutherford were in nomination, but neither was Voted for. The Edenton & Halifax men with a very few exceptions Voted for Govr. Martin, saying I had cram’d him down their

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throats last year & they were now determined to keep him there. The Western Men voted for him from interested Motives as well as some Cape Fear Men who suppose from Joining the Western Men they shall be able to establish a District Court at Cross Creek & fix the seat of Government there. From Newbern District except Genl. Bryan & Col. Spaight I believe they Generally voted for me with the Duplin, Onslow & Cumberland Members. Messrs. Williamson, Hawkins, Nash & Spaight are delegates to Congress; the Council & Treasurers are yet to Choose. Mr. Starkey is Speaker of the Commons (Benbury not being able to Attend) and I am Speaker of the Senate, a very great No. of Bills are before the House, but few of them are public, among the latter are, a Tax Bill, an Assessment Bill, a Bill for opening the Land office, a Bill for emitting Money for the Purpose of paying one year’s arrearage of pay to the Army and for Support of the Civil List, a Bill to repeal the Hillsboro’ Act for fixing the Seat of Government, a Bill for establishing a Supr. Co. at Cross Creek, for establishing Greene County (Wt. Ward of Washington) has passed, for Dividing Duplin, & tomorrow ’tis said a Bill will be introduced for Buildg Public offices & directing public officers to reside there, this is to fix the seat of Government when the Buildings are erected. Wake & X Creek are talked of. X Creek & Newbern will be in dispute for the next meeting of Assembly. I believe the Land Office will be opened reserving a Tract of Country to the Indians West of French Broad and between the Virginia line & Holston on Powell’s river & Clinch river to Henderson’s Company, and a Treaty to be held with the Indians to propose some Satisfaction to be made them for the Lands, the Terms £10 pr. 100 Acres purchase Money to be paid in Specie, or Specie Certificates which will give the latter a Credit, in the Bill for emittg. Money 180,000 dollars are proposed, to be sunk in the Tax of 1783, which ’tis supposed a 2d. Tax in the pound will effect & it will keep up its Credit. They suppose this Sum will be sufficient not only for the purposes before mentioned but also to call in the dollar Bills at 800 for one.

Col. Donelson is here, by him I have a Message from his Son who had engaged to explore the Country about French Broad and fix on proper Locations for Col. Glasgow & myself. This he has done & when the office is open’d will be ready to enter, but the Certificates

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will be wanting. If you can buy to the amot. of £1000 I think it will be no bad Speculation. I suppose they now may be had for 1-5 or 1-4 at most payable in 3, 6, 9 or 12 Months in Cash. If you can obtain any on these Terms, I will venture to that amount for myself, or as much more Jointly with you and one or two more if you Choose for any Sum in which my part shall not exceed £1000. If the office is to be opened soon after the passing of the Bill I shall send what Tickets I have (which are now with me) over, if ’tis not to be opened ’till after the Treaty, you or myself can go over & be there in person, Stockley Donelson is now Surveyor of Sullivan & the Col. his Father, I find has an expectation of obtaining the appointment in Greene, if this should be the case the Advantages will be Still greater in interesting ourselves with them. I propose their being ¼ interested in the Lands & we to furnish the Money for purchase & fees (except the Surveyors) on our part, and on theirs, they to Locate Survey & be at the expense of the Surveys & returns. Your Brother talks of leaving this in a week, if he does, I presume you’l have time to send up to me, after he gets home, before I can get away from hence, the Members appear to be anxious to get done this Week, but I believe it will be a fortnight before the Session ends. However, I must if your Brother does not go down, send before the Superior Court, you shall then hear from me, in the Mean Time, if you approve of my Scheme you will do well to proceed on the purchasing Certificates instantly on the best Terms you can.

My love to you & yours and all relatives. I am, My Dear Son,

Your affectionate,