May It Please Your Excellency.
Some time past I was called abroad to transact some business, being at that time Clerk of Sullivan county. I nominated a deputy to transact the business in my absence, who, being approved by the court here, took his place accordingly.
At my return lately it appeared that during my absence there had been a change respecting a government called Franklin; that the Justice of this county had let the court fall, a majority if not all having joined the new-made government. When the courts were erected under the Franklin authority, the person who was deputy for me was by them made clerk of their court in Sullivan, by which proceeding all the records of this county have fallen into the hands of the people of Franklin. Their court here has been requested, in the name and by the authority of North Carolina, to deliver these records, belonging to the State, to the proper clerk of the county,
His Excellency Richard Caswell, Governor of North Carolina.
John Rhea, Sullivan, 4th May, 1787. Clerkship Sullivan.