Letter from Joseph Hewes to Richard Caswell
Hewes, Joseph, 1730-1779
Volume 11, Pages 441-443
GOV. CASWELL FROM JOSEPH HEWES.
[From Executive Letter Book.]
Edenton 4th April 1777
I had the honor of writing to you a few days ago by Mr. Benbury, this you will receive from Michael Payne Esqr. a Gentleman
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who was appointed Collector of this Port by the last Congress at Halifax, as that appointment was made to continue till the meeting of the present Session of Assembly. I suppose some new arrangement will take place, he is well qualified to fill the office, and has acted with strict honor and integrity during the short time he has enjoyed it. I sincerely wish he may be continued therein. I therefore take the liberty to introduce him to your Excellency, and to request the favor of your influence in his behalf, in case any other persen should make application. I must also beg leave to inform your Excellency of some other matters that will require the attention of the Legislature. I have always understood that the two vessels building at South Quay where to be Row Gallies, that they were to be stationed at Ocracoke Bar, and that this state was to pay part of the expense of their Equipment for this purpose. A quantity of Cannon, sail cloth, anchors &c. have been purchased by this State. I have been informed, that the Virginians have altered this plan—that they have made them ships, and intend to order them to sea—if so they will be of no service to the trade, of this State, and ought not in my opinion to have the Guns, anchors &c. I have not the least doubt but that our Enemies will send some of our small Cruisers to our Bar, in the course of the summer when our Trade will be entirely stopped, unless we have a proper force at Ocracoke Bar– I will submit it to the consideration of your Excellency, whether it would not be good policy to purchase one of those vessels from the Virginians, and keep her stationed at the Bar. I am told one of them is exceedingly well calculated for the purpose draws very little water and might be rowed through the shoals at any time on an emergency, she would answer that purpose much better than the King Taminey, who might either be sold, or sent out on a Cruise. If Virginia will not part with one of them, would it not be well to build such a one on purpose for the defence of our Inlet, in which case the Guns, anchor, & Canvas should be reserved for her—if they are suffered to go out of the state the loss will be irreparable, and I fear our trade will be at an end. Before I left Philadelphia, I had two drafts made of proper Row Gallies, I now send them to your Excellency. The King Taminey was ordered to lay at the Bar, for the protection of the Trade. She is now in our Bay. The Commissioners inform me, they cannot get a Captain or men. No good man can be found, that will take the
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command of her to be as a guard ship. I am very sorry for it, and sincerely wish that the vessels which stop at the Bar occasionally may be carried away by small armed Cutters and Boats When I was in Halifax Mr. Neal shewed me a survey that he made of Cape Lookout Bay. Will your Excellency do me the favor to send it me, shall I apply to Congress for some Cannon to fortify it? if such application is desired, it will be absolutely necessary to carry the plan of that Harbor, otherwise Congress will not take the matter into consideration. I intend to set out for Philadelphia in a few days, I shall be glad to receive an answer to this letter before I go and to have your Excellency's commands. I intend to do myself the pleasure of writing to you frequently after I get to Congress and flatter myself you will now and then give me a line. I have not received a letter from the Northward for some time past, my friends there expect me, so do not write—the last post brought me some News papers, which I now send enclosed. I have the honor to be with great respect and esteem
Dr. Sir, your Excellency's mo. ob. Serv't.