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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Allen Jones to Richard Caswell
Jones, Allen, 1739-1807
October 21, 1778
Volume 22, Pages 766-767


Halifax, October 21st, 1778.


Agreeable to your Excellency’s orders, I have directed the several colonels of this district to draft the men and send the several companies on to Kingston to the rendezvous the tenth of next month. I am apprehensive they will hardly get there by that time, and I am sure they will be badly accoutered, as most of the guns in this district have been already purchased for public service.

Mrs. Jones is in so low a state of health that I can not absent myself at this time without cruelty, or I assure you I should be happy in having a command under your Excellency, should you go. As I cannot believe there is any real necessity for the march of the militia at this time, must frankly tell you, sir, that I think your going will be of no service to South Carolina, and may be a prejudice to this State. Charleston is too trifling an acquisition for the British arms, should they abandon New York and Rhode Island; neither is it tenable or healthy after taken. Besides, should they quit the north, it must certainly be to protect their West Indian settlements; so that, unless the commander should wantonly and merely in revenge for the former repulse, fall on Charleston, the inhabitants may sleep in peace. I hear it questioned here as to your power of sending the militia out of this State. There is no law for it. Can your Excellency apply any of our present funds or any of the money to be made to this service? I think not. Can you apply the money coming from Philadelphia this way? Certainly not; for we are debited with it on our own account. At least, I think not, though I confess what I have said occurs to me without much reflection, for I have been too busy to satisfy myself on the present subject. It galls me to think that the balance of your draught is to be paid up as soon as our assistance is wanted, and that when we were really distressed for money, it could not be had, though we had incurred

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the expense agreeable to the requisition of Congress. I am very far from thinking this State bound to comply with their requsitions in all cases, and in the present, were the Assembly sitting, I am sure a single man would not march to the south. We have been always haughtily treated by South Carolina till they wanted our assistance, and then we are sisters; but as soon as their turn is served all relationship ceases. South Carolina is so well aware of our resentment that they despaired of succeeding should they apply themselves; therefore have got Congress to make a requisition, thinking, no doubt, that out of respect to that body we should overlook their former treatment. In short, sir, our State either one way or other appears to be sacrificed to South Carolina, and that we are of very little consequence in the eyes of Congress. Considering the matter in every light, the little service to be expected from marching the militia and the contempt with which we are treated, I cannot help saying that I am totally averse to sending one man out of the State on the present requisition. Excuse these crude thoughts, and believe me, with the most sincere respect,

Your Excellency’s most obedient servant,
Governor Caswell.