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Letter from John Penn, Thomas Burke, and William Sharpe to Richard Caswell
Penn, John, 1740 or 1-1788; Burke, Thomas, ca. 1747-1783; Sharpe, William, 1742-1818
May 20, 1779
Volume 14, Page 88

-------------------- page 88 --------------------
JOHN PENN, THOS. BURKE AND WM. SHARPE TO GOVERNOR
CASWELL.
[From Executive Letter Book.]

Philadelphia, May 20th, 1779.

Sir:

The Delegates from Virginia have just now laid before Congress an Instrument from that State empowering them to confederate with any one or more States, and they have offered to do so in explicit terms. The enclosed is a Copy of the Instrument, and we lose no time in transmitting it to you to be laid before the General Assembly. We beg leave to inform you that certain appearances in Congress and in our general affairs make it necessary to come to some conclusive decision on the business of Confederation. Some States seem not very clear that they are bound by any thing which has hitherto been done, and others scruple not to declare that if Congress should, on a question for agreeing to terms of peace, decide in a manner contrary to the sense of those States, they will neither submit or confederate. It appears to us absolutely necessary to have clearly and conclusively known what States will consider themselves as bound, at all events, to submit to the decisions of the United Council, and to go hand in hand with their Brethren thro' all the vicissitudes of Events and affairs.

The wisdom of the Assembly will see the propriety of empowering their Delegates to do some conclusive act upon this solemn requisition of our favored and favoring Sister, Virginia, whose Interests, habits, manners and Inclinations are so similar and consenting with ours. We will not presume to suggest what that Act should be, but we wish to impress them with an Idea that despatch is very necessary.

We have the honor to be, with all due respect,
Your Excelly's Mo. ob. Servts.,
JOHN PENN,
THOS. BURKE,
WM. SHARPE.
His Excellency, Gov. Caswell.