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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Thomas Nelson to Thomas Burke
Nelson, Thomas, 1738-1789
September 03, 1781
Volume 22, Pages 587-588


Richmond, Sept. 3rd, 1781.

His Excellency Governor Burke, North Carolina.


Your Letter of the 15th of last month was received here at a Time when I was on a visit to Camp, where I was detained till the Day before Yesterday. At present I shall beg leave to waive any Answer to its contents, but hasten to inform you of an Event which will give you more pleasure than a Thousand observations on the Matters which lately engaged our Attention.

The Count De Grasse arrived in our Bay Three Days ago with a Fleet of 28 Ships of the Line and Six Frigates, together with 3,000 Land Forces. By a Letter from the Marquis la Fayette, received last night, I am informed that the French Troops had begun to land at Jamestown. This friendly Armament is so formidable that I flatter myself no hostile one can arrive, which will venture to attack them or be able to snatch from us our Prey. Your own feelings on this occasion will enable you to judge of ours. As we ought to provide against every thing which can possibly happen to disappoint

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our high wrought expectations, will it not be well for you to keep a watchful eye on the movements of the Southern Foe, as I believe you have nothing to apprehend from this Quarter. The Enemy will not lose such an Army as Cornwallis’s without the greatest exertions on all sides. But what raises our Hopes and Joys to the most Exalted pitch, and which I have reserved to the last to crown the Political Feast, which this Letter will afford you, is a movement of our great General, who, on the 27th of the last Month, was at Chatham, with all the French Troops of the Northern Army and a Body of Continentals, on his March to Virginia.

I am, Sir, with the greatest Esteem and Respect,
Your most obedient and very Hum. Serv’t,

Governor Nelson, Sept. 3rd, 1781. Rec’d 6th; answered same Day.