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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
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Minutes of the North Carolina Council of State
North Carolina. Council of State
November 18, 1779
Volume 22, Pages 959-962


State of North Carolina.
At a Council at New Bern, 18th November, 1779.

Present—The Honorables Joseph Leech, Robert Bignall, John Simpson, Isaac Guion and William Whitfield, Esquires.

Resolved, The Governor be advised to appoint some person at Kinston and Wilmington to purchase provisions for the troops now about to march to the aid of the Southern States, and that the Governor grant warrants on the Treasury for such sums as may be necessary to enable them to carry on that business, they to be accountable.

John Nally, one of the Craven militia, who was taken prisoner at Briar Creek by the British troops, and who was confined four months on board a prison ship, came into Council and informed the

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Board that he was under the necessity of either enlisting into the British service or dying with famine; that he did enlist into the British service for the express purpose of having an opportunity of deserting and returning to his allegiance to the States; that accordingly the very first opportunity he had he actually did desert and brought off ten other deserters to General Lincoln’s camp with their arms and accoutrements; that General Lincoln gave him a pass and permission to return home, which accordingly he had done; and prays to be received as a citizen of the State.

Resolved, That it is the opinion of this Board that the said John Nally ought to be received as a citizen of this State.

Colonel John Bryan, the Sheriff of Craven county, having informed the Council that a great number of capital offenders are in the public jail in New Bern; that he is apprehensive they will endeavor to make their escape; and that by the Governor’s order he has only a guard of thirteen men, which he thinks quite insufficient.

Resolved, The Governor be advised to order a Captain’s guard of at least fifty men from the militia of Craven county to attend to the duty of guarding the prisoners in the public jail aforesaid; and that such guard be kept up so long as the same shall appear to him to be absolutely necessary.

Resolved, The Governor be advised to appoint John Tillman, Esq., to be Colonel of the Craven militia, in the room of Colonel John Bryan, resigned.

The Governor laid before the Board a resolve of the General Assembly of the 3rd November, whereby it is suggested that a cartel will shortly be dispatched from Charleston to the Island of Providence to effect an exchange of all prisoners of war belonging to South Carolina, requesting his Excellency to send all the prisoners of war belonging to this State as expeditiously as may be to the said island, in order to obtain an exchange of a great number of the good citizens of this or the United States. The same being considered,

Resolved, That the Honorables Joseph Leech and Isaac Guion, Esquires, be requested to charter a vessel or vessels to carry the said prisoners to the Island of Providence; that they purchase provisions and other necessaries for their passage, and that his Excellency be advised to grant warrants on the Treasury for a sum of money sufficient to carry the above resolve into effect.

The Governor laid before the Board a resolve of Congress, recommending

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it to the several States to appoint Thursday, the 9th day of December next, a day of thanksgiving and prayer.

Resolved, The Governor be advised to issue a proclamation appointing Thursday, the 9th day of December next, a day of thanksgiving and prayer, agreeable to the above resolve.

Resolved, The Governor be advised to grant a warrant on the Treasury in favor of Captain Robert White, late Paymaster to the State regiment, for the sum of eight thousand pounds, to enable him to pay off the arrears due to the said regiment, he to be accountable.

Resolved, The Governor be advised to grant a warrant on the Treasury in favor of John Council Bryan, Commissary to the troops at New Bern, for the sum of two thousand pounds, he to account with the General Assembly for the same.

The Governor laid before the Board a memorial from James Davis, Esq., printer to the State, setting forth the impossibility of carrying that business into execution on account of the high price of paper, which would necessarily oblige him to advance at least two thousand pounds for to purchase paper for the business of the last session, or to neglect it, and praying that he might have a sum advanced him sufficient to enable him to carry on that business.

Resolved, The Governor be advised to grant a warrant on the Treasury in favor of James Davis, Esq., public printer, for the sum of two thousand five hundred pounds, currency, for his salary for the current year, he to be accountable.

Resolved, The Governor be advised to grant a warrant on the Treasury in favor of Colonel Nicholas Long, D. Q. M. G., for the sum of ten thousand pounds, to enable him to purchase forage, etc., he to account with the General Assembly for the same.

The Board taking into consideration the daily damage the Palace sustains by reason of the lead in several places of the roof being cracked and otherways so much out of repair that every shower of rain runs through, which if not timely prevented will soon destroy the ceiling and otherways considerably damage the rest of the building; therefore, do

Advise his Excellency the Governor to furnish the Honorable Joseph Leech, Esq., with a draft on the Treasury for to get the said roof repaired as soon as possible, to prevent its further damage, he to account with the General Assembly for the same.

The Board taking into consideration the great probability of the army and inhabitants of this State suffering for want of corn, pork

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and other provisions, should it not be timely prevented from being exported, do

Advise his Excellency the Governor to lay an embargo for thirty days to prevent the exportation either by land or water of all corn, pork, bacon, wheat, flour, bread or rice.

The Governor laid before the Board the petition of Captain Neil McNeal, a prisoner of war, now confined in the jail at New Bern, praying a release from his confinement in jail to the town of New Bern on his parole. The Board taking the same into consideration, do

Advise his Excellency to grant the prayer of the petitioner.

The Governor laid before the Board a letter from a considerable number of the members of Assembly for the District of Hillsboro, recommending the appointment of Memucan Hunt to the office of Treasurer for the District of Hillsboro; and also at the same time laid before the Board the resolve of the Senate, whereby it appears to have been the sense of that House that Matthew Jones, Esq., was duly elected by the General Assembly to that office. The Board taking the same under consideration, and having examined the journals and proceedings of the House of Commons in respect to the said election, are of opinion that it will be most advisable to appoint the said Matthew Jones to the said office, and do

Advise the Governor to commission him Treasurer of the said district accordingly.

Resolved, The Governor be advised to grant a warrant on the Treasury in favor of John Canady, jailer for the District of New Bern, for the sum of one thousand pounds, currency, to enable him to subsist the prisoners in his custody, he accounting with the General Assembly for the same.

JOSEPH LEECH, President,
R. BIGNALL,
JOHN SIMPSON,
ISAAC GUION,
WILLIAM WHITFIELD.