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Letter from Robert Smith et al. to Thomas Burke
Smith, Robert; Collins, Josiah, 1735-1819; Johnson, Charles, d. 1802; Bennett, William; Littlejohn, William; Payne, Michael; Et Al.
August 27, 1781
Volume 22, Pages 578-579

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FROM MERCHANTS OF EDENTON TO GOV. BURKE.


Edenton, 27th Aug., 1781.

His Excellency Thomas Burke, Esq., Governor, &c., &c.

Sir:

The Letter which the merchants of Edenton have had the honor of receiving from your Excellency has given them the highest satisfaction. We cannot help expressing our happiness on having a Governor so desirous of re-establishing the commerce of this State, who is perfectly acquainted with the Risque and difficulties it is encumbered with, in the present War, and of the peculiar oppression which it has labored under, from the Impressments, made of so great a part of the property of the merchants of the State in general, and this port in particular under the late administration. Measures, which if pursued, must have terminated in its destruction. And we take this opportunity of returning you our warmest thanks for the strong assurances you have given us that our property in future shall be protected and no longer liable to be wrested from us, without receiving such payments as the circumstances of the State will admit, by which means alone Trade, already decayed, will again flourish, and the public receive the necessary supplies which it alone can furnish.

The shortness of vour Excellency’s stay, which the important and arduous Duties of your Office limits to short a period as to-morrow, and which we sincerely regret, does not afford us time sufficient for forming or Digesting the plans your Excellency desires, but we shall lose no time in Considering such plans as we shall judge advantageous to some and Beneficial to the Public; and as they are matured, we shall take the earliest opportunity of communicating them to your Excellency. In the meantime, we beg leave to assure your Excellency that, relying firmly upon Your Excellency’s Assurances of protection and support, Our confidence in the public is perfectly re-established. Our Vessels in future shall be ordered to return to our own Ports, from whence they have been driven, nor shall we any longer look upon ourselves as Objects marked for Destruction. We will cheerfully contribute as much to the Public support as our shattered Fortunes will permit, and even more, and shall on our imports always give a preference to such Articles as the public may

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want for the support of our Armies, upon whom we are sensible ours and the public salvation depends. As your Excellency has assured us of unequivocal Candor on the part of the State, you may rely upon a similar Conduct on our part.

We have the honor to be, with the greatest respect, Sir,
Your Excellency’s Most ob’dt and Humble serv’ts,
ROBERT SMITH,
JOSIAH COLLINS,
CHAS. JOHNSON,
WM. BENNETT,
NATHAN ALLEN,
ARCH. BELL,
W. BORRITZ,
JOSEPH SMITH,
ALEXANDER BLACK,
JOHN FINE,
NAT. BATEMAN,
WM. LITTLEJOHN,
ABRM. E. LOTT,
BENJ, BRYN,
MICHAEL PAYEN,
SAMUEL COOLEY.

Mercantile affairs.
Letter from the Merchants of Edenton, 27th Aug., 1781.