Letter from Richard Caswell to Patrick Henry
Caswell, Richard, 1729-1789
Volume 11, Pages 447-448
GOV. CASWELL TO GOV. HENRY.
[From Executive Letter Book.]
New Bern, 11th April 1777.
Your several letters of the 3rd & 14th ultimo & 1st inst. I have received, & would have done myself the honor of answering the separately on the receipt of each; but as they contained matter proper for the consideration of the General Assembly, I delayed it until the meeting of that Body, which is now sitting here; & hoped before this to have been able to have acquainted you with their sentiments respecting the Cherokee Indians. However on account of the thinness of the Houses, & settling the decorum to be observed between them, nothing of that business has yet been taken into consideration. Whenever they determine on the measures necessary for this State to pursue regarding the Indians, I will do myself the honor of communicating them to you. At present I have not the least doubt but they will appoint Commissioners to co-operate with those appointed by your State and the States of the two Southern Colonies. I have received no intimation from the Commissioners appointed in Virginia of the time & place of Treaty proposed by them: from So. Carolina, the seventh of May next, the place Dewit's Corner. I shall be glad to be informed by the return of this express, if your Commissioners will attend there, that those who may be appointed in this State may be directed accordingly. From every account I have rec'd from the westward I am inclined to think the intentions of the Cherokees are hostile, & perfectly agree with you that holding a treaty with them may produce something by which the States may be benefited. And if offensive operations become necessary, it will not be possible for us to enter upon them, till after planting of corn, and whenever we do, 'twill give me pleasure to find the people in the States of
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Virginia & Carolina co-operate in the scheme of defence, as their interests in that particular, as well as many others, are nearly the same. For my own part, give me leave to assure you, Sir, that every measure shall be pursued, & every means adopted, that happens within my power, to effect so good a purpose. Your last letter I received but yesterday, since which I have made the best inquiry I could from the Gentlemen from Edenton & Halifax, & can get no information of any goods being lodged at either of these places for Col. Muhlenburg's Regiment. The Commissary of Stores will be in town in a few days, when, 'tis possible, I may get the necessary information from him. If I do, I shall take the earliest opportunity of acquainting you, as I shall do respecting the Row-Gallies. I have only learned that one of them was launched about a month ago, the other was to have been launched the first of this month. Commissioners were appointed by our last Congress to purchase some materials, such as canvas, anchors, cordage, guns &c. Some of them are purchased, but what I can't yet say. Give me leave, Sir, to return you my most grateful acknowledgments for your kind congratulations on my appointment to the government of this State. If in the discharge of the duties of that station, I can be of any service to the State of Virginia, 'twill be with pleasure performed by him, who has the honor to be with the greatest esteem & regard,
Your Excellency's most obedient & very hble. serv't.,
His Excellency Gov. Henry.