John Page letter to Richard Caswell, 1777 September 26

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John Page letter to Richard Caswell, 1777 September 26



Virginia Lt. Governor John Page writes to North Carolina Governor Richard Caswell concerning British naval operations in the region. The British had blocked Ocracoke Inlet and Page urges Caswell to send one of the galleys constructed at the joint expense of the two states to dislodge the British vessels blockading the inlet. Page notes he will have Champion Travis, a member of Virginia's Naval Board, work to get some of Virginia's galley fleet into action. Page also thanks Caswell for making part of the N.C. militia available during the British Army and Navy's move up the Chesapeake as they advanced to Philadelphia and discusses the outcome of the action between Washington and Howe at Brandywine on September 11, 1777.


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Page 1

In Council Wmsburg Septr 26. 1777


The Board having received Information that
Ocracock Inlet has been blocked up by some of the
Enemy's small Cruisers and Tenders; & it being suggested
that if the Gallies which were directed to be built & fitted
out at the joint Expence of North Carolina & Virginia,
or even any one of them, could be expeditiously equipped,
that important pass might be easily opened to the great
advantage of these States, & possibly to the Disgrace and
Destruction of that part of the Enemy's Fleet. It is there
fore hoped that your Excellency will give such orders
in this Matter as may appear to you most likely to
produce the desirable purposes just mentioned. We have
desired Champion Travis Esquire one of the Commissioners
of the Navy to examine into the State of the Gallies at
the South Quay, & to give Directions for the immediate
Execution of what may be wanting on our part that
we may be able as soon as possible to cooperate with
your State in the most vigorous manner for our mutual
Defence - I cannot refrain from acknowledging the
obligations I think this State is under to you Sir, for the
Orders you issued for one third of your Militia to hold
themselves in Readiness to march to our Assistance on
the late Alarming Occasion; & to the good people of
North Carolina for the readiness they have always
shewed to assist us - May an affection, and mutual
attachment between Carolina & Virginia ever increase
to the Honor & Security of the United States in general &
of these Contiguous Sister States in particular.

Last Tuesday Evening the whole of the Enemys
Fleet which had gone up the Bay went out of our Capes.
We have received no authentic Accounts, but from the

Page 2

best that can be collected, we lost 6 or 8 hundred Men
& the Enemy near 2000 in the Action of the 11th Inst -
General Washington has received Reinforcements &
Howe has retired from the Head of Brandywine to
Wilmington. I have inclosed you the papers of the Week
for your further Information - And have the Honor
to be with the highest Respect

Your Mo. obedt Servt.
John Page

Address leaf

(post paid)

His Excellency,
Richard Caswell
Governor of
North Carolina

Lt Govr. Page
Wmsburg 26

Original Format

Ink on paper


Page, John, 1744-1808, “John Page letter to Richard Caswell, 1777 September 26,” Special Collections, John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, accessed November 29, 2022,

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