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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Richard Caswell to John Sevier
Caswell, Richard, 1729-1789
June 17, 1785
Volume 17, Pages 471-472

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Kinston, 17th June, 1785.


Your favor of the 14th of last month I had the honor to receive by Colonel Avery.

In this, Sir, you have stated the different charges mentioned in Governor Martin's manifesto and answered them by giving what I understand to be the sense of the people and your own sentiments with respect to each charge, as well as the reasons which governed in the measure he complained of.

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I have not seen Governor Martin's Manifesto, nor have I derived so full and explicit information from any quarter as this you have been pleased to give me. As there was not an Assembly owing to the Members not attending in Consequence of Governor Martin's request, the sense of the Legislature on this Business of course could not be had, and as you give me assurances of the peaceable disposition of the people and their wish to conduct themselves in the manner you mention and also to send persons to adjust, consider and conciliate matters, I suppose to the next assembly, for the pressent, things must rest as they are with respect to the subject matters of your Letter which shall be laid before the next Assembly. In the mean time, let me entreat you not by any means to consider this as giving countenance by the Executive of the State, to any measure lately pursued by the people to the Westward of the Mountains.

With regard to the Goods intended by the State, for the Indians as a compensation for the lands, they I believe have been ready for many months at Washington, and if I can procure Wagons to convey them to the place destined (the Long Island) I mean to send them there to be disposed of according to the original intention of the Assembly and will either attend myself or appoint Commissioners to treat with the Indians. But in this you know it is necessary that that whoever attends should be protected by the Militia, and under the present situation of affairs, 'tis possible my orders may not be attended to in that particular, and however a man may submit to these things in a private Character, he may be answerable to the people. At least they may judge it so in a public situation. Therefore, without your assurances of the officers and men under your Command being subject to my orders in this Case, as matters stand I think it would be imprudent in me to come over or send Commissioners to treat with the Indians. Of this you will be pleased to write me by the first favorable opportunity. It is my wish to come over myself and if matters turn so that I can with convenience 'tis probable I may.

I have the honor to be with great esteem and respect, Sir.
Your most obedient humble Servant,