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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Thomas Craike to Richard Caswell
Craike, Thomas
September 25, 1779
Volume 22, Page 774

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Wilmington, 25th September, 1779.


The arrival of Mr. Martin last Wednesday relieved me from much anxiety on his account, and from frequent applications made to me for moneys. I had not the least doubt of his coming with the escort which directed him, etc., but when a week and upwards had expired (after they passed through this town) and he did not arrive, I was afraid some accident had happened to him, and was ready to set off for Kingston when he came. Before I concluded to send my letter, enclosing the warrant for £30,000 by Major Blount, he promised me to go by Halifax and deliver it to Mr. Martin. If he had not made a positive promise to deliver it, I should have procured some certain conveyance, as I considered it of consequence to the public and to myself that the letter should be delivered as soon as possible, which I told him repeatedly.

The money your excellency sent me by Mr. Martin is very insufficient to purchase the clothing wanting for the officers and soldiers. After I have discharged those debts contracted at Wilmington and Charleston, I shall not have many thousand pounds remaining to purchase goods. The estimate inclosed in my last letter to you respected the officers only, and many articles of expense were not put in it, which I noted at the bottom of the estimate. The State will want a large quantity of linen, blankets, hats or caps, etc., etc., for the soldiers, as I have not any of those articles in the store. I shall expend the money remaining in my hands after discharging the public debts I owe in purchasing goods as will be most wanted for the service, but I cannot, with propriety, purchase goods again on credit, as the uncertainty of getting money to pay for them when due may involve me in difficulties and probably ruin my credit.

Mr. Ervins will send to your Excellency for the balance of the order I drew on you in his favor, which I hope you be in cash to pay, or give a warrant for it. I will be obliged to you, sir, to let Mr. Martin have £5,000, or a warrant for that sum, which I expect will pay the debts I owe on behalf of the public at Halifax.

I intend to be at the Assembly, if possible, the latter end of October, as I wish to settle my cash account with the public every session.

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If I cannot be furnished with the necessary sums of money to carry into effect their resolves, which respect myself, I must request of them to appoint some other person to do their business.

I cannot any longer, in justice to my own character, give color for censure from the officers and soldiers and the public in general, when I am innocent and doing my utmost endeavors to serve them and the State. I do not blame the officers or men for their complaints, however severe, against myself, as I am held out to them as the person to redress their grievances. Yet I cannot help feeling the reflections I frequently hear.

We have not any news here of the operations of our troops and good allies to the southward, but expect to hear from there every day. I shall set off for Charleston Sunday or Monday at farthest. I will be obliged to your Excellency to write to me by the first post (if possible) whether I may do any more business than that I can do with the money I may have in hand, but it must be on a certainty that I can make good my contracts, and to what amount. I shall do myself the pleasure of writing to you on my arrival at Charleston. I have the honor to be,

Your Excellency’s obedient humble servant,
His Excellency, Richard Caswell, Esq.