His Excellency Alexander Martin, Esquire, Governor, etc., etc.
I wrote your Excellency a few days ago, when I was going to Newbern. I am just returned from there, and have purchased from a French Gen’l who lately arrived in Newbern, 650 French Musketts and Bayonetts and 650 lbs. Gun Powder. For the Musketts and Bayonetts I am to pay three hundred pounds weight of Tobacco a piece, and for every three Pounds Gun Powder one hundred pounds Tobacco, so that each Muskett, Bayonett and one Pound Powder cost 333 1-3 lbs. Tobacco. It was with Difficulty I got my Powder, as the people in Newbern gave 2 hard Dollars Per lb. for it, for the use of their Privateers. The Musketts and Powder amounts to 216,666 2-3 lbs. Tobacco, which I have engaged to deliver at Washington in Six weeks from the 15th of this Month. This is much more Tobacco than I have belonging to the Public, but I hope That your Excellency will take care that my Promise is complied with. I expect you will find it absolutely necessary to send some person to impress the Tobacco at this Place, at Washington and Newbern, and give me leave to suggest to your Excellency that the sooner this is done the better, as I know as soon as we have water in the River the Tobacco will be taken from this Place, in order that I may get the Tobacco down in Time, I wish you to impower me to impress Boats, and you will also please direct the Col. of this County to furnish me with as many and such hands out of the militia as will be necessary to carry the Tobacco down. This the people will readily do, if they are allowed the Time out of a Tour of Duty. I
The arms are but Light and short Bayonets.
R. Bignall’s letter, Oct. 10th, 1781.