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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from John Penn, Cornelius Harnett, and John Williams to Richard Caswell
Penn, John, 1740 or 1-1788; Harnett, Cornelius, 1723-1781; Williams, John, 1731-1799
September 29, 1778
Volume 22, Pages 984-985


Philadelphia, September 29th, 1778.


We are sorry to inform your Excellency that we have not been able to send forward the money granted for the use of North Carolina. The very great demands on the Treasury previous to our grant has been the cause. However, we are assured that it will be ready in a day or two at farthest.

Congress has been alarmed that our enemies were about evacuating Rhode Island and New York, and that another attempt would be made on Charleston by them. To prevent them from getting possession of that place, so important to our neighbors, it has been recommended to Virginia and North Carolina to send some of their militia to assist in the defense of South Carolina. The high opinion entertained of your Excellency here, and the very great desire the Delegates of that State had that you would accept the command, was the reason of the resolve relative to you; but in this you will no doubt consider the interest of North Carolina and the propriety of being absent from your government. General Howe is directed to repair to headquarters and General Lincoln goes to South Carolina.

We are informed that the French are busily employed in taking possession of the British islands. This, if true, will furnish General Clinton some other employment than ravaging these States. Enclosed is a newspaper, by which you will see the manner in which this intelligence is obtained. We can only observe that it is believed here.

We should have written by the express that was sent by the

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President, but he went away without our knowing it. We have the honor to be, with great respect,

Your Excellency’s most obedient humble servants,

France has certainly declared war against Great Britain.

His Excellency Richard Caswell, Esq., Governor, etc.