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Letter from Spyers Singleton et al. to Richard Caswell
Singleton, Spyers, d. 1814; Gaston, Alexander, ca. 1735-1781; Cooke, John; Ellis, Richard, fl. 1765-1790; Et Al.
May 19, 1779
Volume 14, Pages 85-86

SHYERS SINGLETON, ANDREW BLANCHARD, JOHN JONES, ALEX GASTON, JNO. COOKE, RICHARD ELLIS AND EDWARD TINKER TO GOVERNOR CASWELL.
[From Executive Letter Book.]

New Berne, 19th May, 1779.

Sir:

Yesterday we received, by Mr. Lory, the melancholy account of the total destruction of the Town of Suffolk. About 1,500 of British soldiers took possession of the Fort at Portsmouth without any opposition. There were 28 vessels of the Enemy which came into the Harbor at Portsmouth, 17 of which are Square rigged, among which is a ship of 74 guns, some with fifty, and three Row Gallies with heavy mettle, which do not draw more than six feet water.

Five hundred of these men made a forced march, and took possession of Suffolk, in which were 2,000 Barrels of Continental Pork, with 1,500 Barrels of Flour, &c. Mr. Lory was an Eye witness to what is wrote above. The Enemy took, Burnt and other ways destroyed all the vessels and other property which came within their reach, and marched through the country unmolested. By the affidavit of five of their men, who deserted

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from them, and who are now at Edenton, we are informed that their destination is for this State. The Inhabitants of this Town, considering its defenceless situation, are induced to apply to your Excellency to have the Militia of this and the neighboring Counties raised for the protection of the public stores, as well as for the security of the property of the Inhabitants, who, we flatter ourselves, will exert every nerve to repel the Enemy in case of an attack.

The Town was never in a more defenceless condition, as we have no cannon, and a very few men. We can assure your Excellency that the Town is almost clear of the small Pox, and the Magistrates will be very particular in having every house cleansed. But should the Militia be apprehensive of any danger from that Quarter, they may be well accommodated at Fort Caswell and in some other houses in and near Town, where no person has had the Small Pox. We wish your Excellency & family health & happiness,

And am, Sir,
Your Excellency's Mo. ob. Servts.,
SHYERS SINGLETON,
JNO. COOKE,
JOHN JONES,
RICHARD ELLIS,
ANDREW BLANCHARD,
EDWARD TINKER,
ALEX GASTON.