George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Richard Dobbs Spaight, 27 April 1794

From Richard Dobbs Spaight

N. Carolina New Bern 27th Apl 1794


Agreable to the request contained in the Secretary of Wars letter of the 24 of March last I have endeavoured to get information of the cannon of & above the calibre of eighteen pounds the property of this State.1

There are at Edenton 13 twenty four pounders 8 eighteen pounders also 6 twelve pounders there are likewise one or two twenty four pounders at Swansborough, of these last I have not received full information. none of those cannon have any apparatus whatever belonging to them.

I have as yet had no accounts whether there are any cannon at Wilmington or Beaufort as soon as I do I shall send on information of their number quality & condition.

In regards to the building the forts at Occacock & cape Fear your request of my superintending generally the business shall be complied with as far as is within my knowledge or abilities by paying every attention to it that is in my power. I have the honor to be with respect &c.

R.D. Spaight

LB, Nc-Ar: Governors’ Letterbooks.

1Knox’s letter to Spaight of 24 March enclosed a copy of “An Act to provide for the Defence of certain Ports and Harbors in the United States,” 20 March (Stat description begins Richard Peters, ed. The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America, from the Organization of the Government in 1789, to March 3, 1845 . . .. 8 vols. Boston, 1845-67. description ends . 1:345–46). GW, according to Knox, requested that Spaight assume responsibility for the “general direction of the business” in North Carolina. Knox wrote that an engineer would soon be appointed to plan and direct construction, and he asked Spaight to inform him of “any good cannon of and above the calibre of eighteen pounds and which could be appropriated to the fortifications” in North Carolina (Nc-Ar: Governors’ Letterbooks). Knox’s letter to Spaight is nearly identical to the one sent to New Hampshire governor Josiah Bartlett on the same date (see n.3 of Knox to GW, 19 March). On the appointment of engineer Nicholas-Francis Martinon and the initial plans for fortifying the ports and harbors at Wilmington, which was on the Cape Fear River, and Ocracoke Inlet, N.C., see ASP, Military Affairs description begins Walter Lowrie et al., eds. American State Papers. Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States. 38 vols. Washington, D.C., Gales and Seaton, 1832–61. description ends , 1:95–101.

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