Documenting the American South Logo
Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Advanced Search Options
Letter from Thomas Burke to the North Carolina Board of War
Burke, Thomas, ca. 1747-1783
July 08, 1778
Volume 15, Pages 712-713


Tyaquin, Near Hillsborough, North Carolina,
July 8th, 1778.


I send under the conduct of Mr. John Taylor of this County Sixty-nine Horses which I have purchased pursuant to your request. They were supplied by a company of Merchants here who are active and intelligent and I am very certain have been faithful in discharging their contract, they would all sell in this State for a Sum greater considerably than I have contracted to give them. They are, most of them, now in pretty good working order, but the heat of the weather will, I fear, reduce them considerably before they reach you. If they can have a few weeks rest and good feeding I think you will find them very serviceable; they have been bred in the hilly Country of this State which produces hardy and useful Horses. My principal view was to purchase Horses that are strong and active. Horses of finer figure would be extremely dear

-------------------- page 713 --------------------
and less useful. These I hope will answer good purposes. Inclosed you have a copy of Mr. Taylor's agreement for delivering them. You will perceive they are at his risque, but I must inform you that I have assured him you would not make him pay for any that may get away, provided he can satisfy you that he has taken every possible care of them. The Sum he receives is by no means a compensation for the trouble and risque on any other terms, but it seems to me necessary for several obvious reasons to contract with him in this manner.

I have furnished him with 420 Dollars to purchase provender for the Horses on the way. He will charge all he purchases and account with you. Be pleased to pay him agreeable to his contract, and also deliver him the money for reimbursing me, taking from him duplicate receipts, one of which be pleased to enclose me. Diligent, active people may still purchase Horses here, and the same Company will continue to purchase upon the same contract until I receive your answer. If you desire to prohibit, the sooner the better. I mentioned this in my letter of advice accompanying the Bill I drew for the price of these Horses, Dated this day. Was I to advise relative to the purchase of Horses for a future Campaign, I should recommend contracting for them in the fall to be delivered in the Spring. Several could be got here on such terms, but the present is too late a season for purchasing to great advantage, nor is it possible to get them in prime order.

I am, Gentlemen, your obedt. servant,

P. S.

Upon re-examining the Horses I find one but three years old, & concluding him too young for service I have taken him out of the number in order to exchange him for one fit, and meantime, as he will run in my pasture he will be no expense to the public. One of the people to whom I had committed some of the Horses to be fed during the Interval between my receiving and sending them off let three get away while he was piously attending meeting on Sunday. He is in search of them and is not yet returned. Soon as they are found I will have them taken care of and send them by some safe opportunity, you will deduct 4 from the number mentioned in Mr. Taylor's agreement.

Honble. Board of War.