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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from James Iredell to Thomas Burke
Iredell, James, 1751-1799
August 12, 1781
Volume 22, Page 552

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I did not receive your Excellency’s letter of the 30th of July till last Sunday and in consequence of it came to Halifax on Wednesday. I have waited in the neighborhood ever since in expectation of Your Excellencys arrival but being hitherto disappointed and now called home by business of indispensable necessity, I must have the regret of returning without seeing your Excellency. I would have waited on your Excellency above had I not every Day expected you at Halifax, and I thought possibly I might miss you on the road.

In regard to the Courts of Oyer and Terminer your Excellency proposed immediately to establish, I am always ready to attend them, as my Duty requires, but I take the liberty to represent to your Excellency that I fear that I shall not be able to defray the expense they will involve me in, unless I receive a Sum of money from the Public. The Assembly were pleased to vote me a Sum of 20,000 pounds to be paid by the Treasurer of Edenton District, to whom I applied for the Money, but I have not yet received that or his answer. I am not ashamed of confessing my poverty, as it has not arisen from any dishonorable cause. My circumstances have suffered deeply, but if I can just bear myself above water I am content to suffer still. I shall esteem it as a particular favour if your Excellency will be pleased to acquaint me as early as possible with the particulars concerning the Courts that may be established, especially with the times when they are to be held. I shall not fail to do my utmost there and at all times in discharge of my duty. I live for the present at Windsor, and if your Excellency passes through that Town on your way to Edenton (where I am told you propose going) I hope to have the honor of seeing your Excellency there and beg leave to assure you that I shall be happy at all times on any occasion to testify the sincere and perfect respect with which I am, Sir,

Your Excellency’s Most humble and obdt. Servt.,

Elk Marsh, Aug. 12th, 1781.

P. S. I enclose Your Excellency a letter from Mr. Johnston.

J. I.