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Letter from John Daves to John Hanson
Daves, John, 1748-1804
December 14, 1781
Volume 17, Pages 1052-1053

[Extract.—Journals of Congress, Vol. III, P. 431. Ed. 1823.]

Philadelphia, 14th Dec., 1781.

Sir:

The petition I laid before Congress the other day in behalf of the

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officers of the State of North Carolina, and referred by them to the Secretary at War, appears to me not to have been acted upon agreeable to the instructions of Congress, so far as the same respects myself, and therefore I am necessitated to state the matter to them anew:

In consequence of the resolution of the 13th of August, directing the six months pay to the Officers lately prisoners in South Carolina and Georgia, I came here from North Carolina to receive the proportion for the officers of that State. Now as Congress have seen fit to repeal the said resolution, it will be exceedingly hard and distressing to me, who have been so long a prisoner, and who have traveled four hundred and fifty miles to receive the supplies promised by Congress, and to be disappointed. It could not be supposed that the three months real pay was an object to draw me here, but as I am disappointed in obtaining the supply for the other officers, it is an object of importance to receive it as without it I shall not be able to return.

I hope Congress will order this provision for me, my situation being widely different from one who comes to solicit them for favors. I came for what had been promised, and not to solicit anything anew; and, Sir, as it is judged best for the welfare of the whole to repeal the resolution, I beg that Congress would allow me so much as will bear my expenses back to Carolina in any way they approve. I am unhappy upon being informed that the principal difficulty in this matter is in setting a precedent which Congress must avoid, but, Sir, I hope it will be remembered that the resolution of the 13th August drew me here, and in consequence thereof I am compelled to this measure.

I pray your Excellency to excuse the trouble of this second letter which I beg you to lay before Congress.

I am, with due respect, Sir,
Your Excellency most ob't servt.,
JOHN DAVES,
Captain North Carolina Line.
His Excellency
The President of Congress.