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Letter from Benjamin Harrison to Thomas Burke
Harrison, Benjamin, ca. 1726-1791
November 13, 1777
Volume 11, Pages 802-804

COL. BEN. HARRISON TO THE HONORABLE THOMAS BURKE MEMBER OF CONGRESS NEWBERN NORTH CAROLINA.

Virginia Berkley Nov. 13th 1777

Dear Sir,

Your favour of the 24th Ulto. did not reach me until a few Days

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ago, owing to my being detained attending on an affectionate wife who has been some time confined by a very severe fit of illness, who I thank God is now on the recovery.

I have been informed that Mr. Ronald has been set at liberty some time by the boys of the man of war without any conditions, you may depend I shall make further enquiry into the matter; as soon as I get to Newsbury which will be early in the next week and that if my information should not prove true I will use every endeavour in my power to set him at liberty; whenever I can be of assistance to you I beg you will command me without apologizing and that you will rest assured it is the highest gratification to myself to render service to those I call my friends in which number I have long taken the Liberty to put you—Our acc'ts, from the Northward are so very uncertain that I seldom venture to communicate a thing that I hear, you must therefore expect nothing from me but what may be depended on, and therefore very little news will fall to your share, the inclosed paper from my friend Jones is all I have but as it appears to be a second attempt and made after you left it may be acceptable—Burgoyne's capitulation to Gates is come to us, and will I suppose reach you as this does, what are your sentiments on it, mine are not much in his favour, he has let slip the most glorious opp'ty, of finishing the war, and what motives Heaven alone can tell, the least that we have to expect is the surrendering Troops will fill the Places of others from England or Ireland and that these will be sent over in the spring against us, but my fears are that they will not be sent off, but that as soon as they are on ships they will come round to Howe if his Business should not be effectually done very soon. Wine is a thing you know I am very fond of, it enlivens some men and brightens their ideas, but others again it stupyfies and deprives of what little sense nature has given them. I shall never be surprised at any thing I hear done by the Phalanx, but for your amusement take what is said of them by the Rev. Mr. Duché to our general in chief who in the fore part of his Letter insolently prefers him to betray his trust and make Peace with G. Britain at the head of his army whether Congress will or not, and then ask him to take a View of Congress and to tell him what can be expected of such men &c. his words of the Eastern men are these “can you find one that as a Gent. you would wish to associate with, unless the soft

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and mild address of Mr. Hancock can atone for every other qualification, necessary for the station he fills. Pettifogging attorneys and men of desperate fortunes are his Colleagues.” This Letter the Genl. sent to Congress and my friend Jones has transcribed a part of it and sent it to me, and I wished to have done the same for you if I was not as much tired writing as you will be of reading this cursed scroll

I am Sir
Your afft. and most obedt. Servt.
BENJ. HARRISON.