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Letter from Richard Caswell to John Whitaker
Caswell, Richard, 1729-1789
July 17, 1787
Volume 20, Pages 748-749

(From Executive Letter Book.)

Newington, July 17th, 1787.

Dear Sir:

Your Letter of the 15th Current is to hand, the case of the prisoners very distressing no doubt to them, especially this hot weather, but ’tis not consistent with the Rule of conduct laid down in the Constitution for me to alleviate their distresses by a suspension of their sentences. After having taken the sense of the Council of State, the only body appointed to advise the Governor in all cases, it would be considered as acting inconsistently with my duty; and whilst I am in the executive I mean to do in all cases what appears to me to be right, without having regard to the opinions of any but those whom I consider it my duty to follow the advice of, I mean the Council. Humanity points out a different mode for those unhappy sufferers but Justice must be satisfied.

Your difficulties in supplying provisions I am concerned for, but you know as having been several Times a Member of the General Assembly, the Generosity of that Honorable Body to the faithful servants of the State has been uniformly confined to the closest scrutiny, & I may add narrowness of allowance, yet I hope that they have had justice in view & that the next Assembly will do by you what is really Just in this particular, but you are to observe that the charges only of those who are unable to pay the fees of imprisonment, and that certified by the Court, will be allowed you and as I suppose some of your prisoners will be under the denomination of Insolvents I have, contrary to usage, forwarded you a warrant on the Treasury for one hundred pounds for which you must accot. with the Assembly; this will in some degree assist you in making that provision which your humane disposition will point out for these unhappy men.

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I thank you for the intelligence you give me of Mr. Morris’ Bill being returned as mentioned; ’tis new to me but I must take some further inquiry so as to prevent if possible.

I am very respectfully, Dear Sir,
Your most obedt. Servt.,