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Ordered to ie Printed. 

Uolden & Wilson, Printers to the State. 


, roF coiv^^ 

\, .- 

Tlie joint select committee, to whom was referred tlie luo;:- 
eage of tlie Governor, with the accompanying papers from 
the Historical Agent of the State, have had the same under 
consideration, and respectfully report: 

That the message of the Governor presents to the General 
Assembl}' the report of the historical agent of the State, and 
recommends a continuance of the agency. 

That the report of the agent consists of a series of letters 
either written by or addressed to the agent, in the discharge 
of the duties of his office, reporting the progress made in tlie 
collection of material, and assigns satisfactory reasons for the 
delay on the part of the agent in the prosecution of the ex- 
tended search for documentary history contemplated by the 
Legislature. And, to the end that the fullest information 
ma}' be given, that a memorial be made of the patriotic 
efforts on the part of the State authorities to garner up all that 
is valuable in the past history of the State, the committee do 
recommend the printing of the report entire, not exceeding 
300 copies, to be distributed by order of the General Assem- 

And, furthermore, to carry out the praiseworthy purposes 
of the Legislature, that created the agency, and that the scat- 
tered and broken links of our colonial history may be col- 
lected and placed in the hands of the future historian, and 
"our story be told with truth," the committee do recommen 1 

2 Document IN'o. 28. [Session 

tlic adoptinii of tlie accompanying resolution, providing for 
the continuance of the agency : 

Uesolmd^ That the agent appointed under the resolution of 
the last General Assembly, to procure documentary evidence 
in relation to the History of North-Carolina, may, in case he 
sluvll deem it necessary to do so, examine the pul)lic ar- 
chives, and other sources of information of our sister States, 
as well as the mother country, upon the conditions set forth 
in the said resohition, and report proceedings to the General 
Assembly at as early a period as may admit of the proper 
performance of the duties assigned to him. 


To tlie honorahk the General Asscmljly 

of the State of JV^orth Carolina : 

I transmit herewith a report from the Hon. David L. 
Swain, agent to })rocure documentary evidence of the his- 
tory of the State. 

The repoit will explain to you very fully what has been 
done, what it wa-; the object of the agent to accomplish, and 
the circumstances which prevented his collecting any histori- 
cal mato'ials from al>road. 

Tlie copy of ''Ti-yon's Letter Book" has been deposited in 
the Executive ofRjo, where it may be seen, and is subject to 
your disp(;)sition. 

By the terms of the resolution of the General Assembly, 
by virtue of which an agent was appointed, such agency 
ceases at this session of your honorable body. 

I respectfully recommend the passage of a resolution, au- 
thorizing the continuance of the agency, with authority to the 
agent to examine the public archives, and other sources of 
information of our sifter States, as well as those of the mother 


lS56-'r.) DocraiEOT Ko. 28. 


CiiArEL Ilirx, Decern. 1, 1856. 

Sir: — In my letter of the 20tli Xoveraber, 1855, I advised 
your excellency of the course I had pursued, and the pro- 
gress I had made under the resolutions of the last General 
Assembly, authorizing you to appoint an agent to obtain from 
the proper offices in London documentary evidence in rela- 
tion to the history of the State, and from Uarvard University 
a copy of Governor Tryon's Letter Book. 

I had the pleasure, a few weeks thereafter, to receive a 
copy of the Letter Book, prepared with extraordinary neat- 
ness and accuracy, under the supervision of Jared ^parj^s, 
LL.D., by the late James W. Harris, Esq., of Cambridge.^ 
Mr. Harris's receipt for the stipulated compensation for ser- 
vices so faithfully rendered, amounting to $108, is enclosed. 
This sum, with the addition of one per cent, premium on the 
check remitted, may be deposited to my credit in the Bank of 
the State. The Letter Book is also sent herewith. 

Since the receipt of your letter of the IStli May, 1855, re- 
questing my attention to this subject, no opportunity has been 
neglected to obtain all the information in my power in rela- 
tion to documentary evidence of our histor}^ at home or abroad. 
I have taken great pains to ascertain the sources whence ma- 
terials may be drawn, and the extent to which they exist in 
this and other States, in order to satisfy myself whether it is 
necessary to extend researches to the mother country, and to 
prepare myself in this event for the intelligent performance 
of the trust committed to me. 

I suppose there are few important papers in ISTorth Caro- 
lina which reflect light upon the colonial era, which are not 
in my possession, or at my command. 

To the kind attention of Tristam L. Skinner, Esq., of Eden- 
ton, I am indebted for permission, obtained by him from the 
county court of Chowan, to transmit to me four folios, con- 
taining all the records of the general court and court of chan- 

4 Document j^o. 2S. [Session 

cerj of North Cai-oliua, from 1097 to 1730, and to James E. 
Norfleet, Esq., of Edenton, for two volumes custom lionse re- 
cords of port Roanoke, from 1725 to 1743. The judicial re- 
cords are not merely of great hut indispensahle importance 
to the historian. I have given a receipt for them to the clerk 
of Chowan court, and have stipulated to return them in rea- 
sonable time. I trust, however, that jou will be able, through 
the intervention of the General Assembly to secure perma- 
nent possession of them for the State. 

The liberality of Thomas P. Devereux, Esq., has enriched 
the archives of the historical society of the University with 
a neat and accurate copy of all the portions of the Letter 
Booh of his ancestors, Cullen and Thomas Pollock, which pos- 
sess historical value. 
wo^k ^Ttov Pollock was, as you are aware, deputy to one of the 
Lords Proprietors of Carolina, during a period of thirt}^ years, 
and was at one time at the head of the government, as presi- 
dent of the Council. In the latter character he assumed the 
reins of government, on the demise of Governor Hyde in 
1712, and discharged the duties of the executive department 
with eminent prudence and discretion, in the midst of some 
of the" most dangerous emergencies in our history. He was a 
member of the council, and sustained the legitimate authority 
of Governor Glover during the entire period of Cary's rebel- 
lion, and his correspondence exhibits no inconsiderable por- 
tion of all the information accessible at present in relation to 
a civil commotion, which, in its consequences, threatened, 
and too nearly produced, the extinction' of the colon}'. 

Virginia and South Carolina have laid the best possible 
foundation for the construction of their history in the pubh- 
cation of their statutes at large, wnth illustrative documents, 
notes, and references. Both of these collections, but espe- 
cially the former, the earlier and better work, are deeply in- 
teresting in connection with our history, and serve to show 
tlie importance of similar attention on our j)art to forgotten 
and neglected records. 

The trustees of the State library, (the governor and judges 
of the supremo court) have rcccn!ly made a judicious begin- 

1856-7.] Document I^o. 28. 5 

ning, wliicli it is to be lioped will, in clue time, result in the 
accomplislimcnt of a like enterprise, on tlio part of North- 

In 1715, the General Assembly revised and re-enacted the 
the whole bodv of statute law then in force. There was no 
printing office in the Province, and twelve manuscript copies 
wer« prepared, and one deposited in the clerk's office of each 
precinct court. 

The existence of this revisal was unknown during a long 
series of years, until about a quarter of a century ago, when 
two mutilated and moth-eaten copies were discovered in the 
office of the secretary of State. Two or three years since, a 
third imperfect copy was presented to the Rev. Dr. Hawks, 
by William B. Rodman, Esq., of Washington. A successful 
effort is in progress, to secure, by a collation of the three de- 
fective manuscripts, a perfect copy of our earliest revisal ; 
and the work admirably executed by the Rev. Dr. Wlieat, of 
the university, will soon be read}' for the State librar}^ 

It is, perhaps, unnecessary to enter into further details with 
respect to domestic sources of historical information. I 
venture to intimate, nevertheless, the confident opinion, that 
very interesting materials will reward proper research in the 
public offices of Virginia, and the archives of the historical 
societies of South-Carolina and Georgia. 

In relation to documentary evidence abroad, I deem it 
merely necessary to direct your attention to the accompany- 
ing correspondence, which may be examined in the numeri- 
cal order in which it is presented, and which will sufliciently 
explain itself. 

You will perceive that owing to diplomatic difficulties be- 
tween this country and England, and occurrences which for 
a time prevented cordial intercourse between Mr. Crampton 
and the American secretary of State, I was subjected to una- 
voidable embarrassment and delay in the prosecution of mj 
designs. In relation to this matter, I am under great obhga- 
tions to my friend Mr. Dobbin, the secretary of the ISTavy, 
wdio, though oppressed by official duties, rendered more ar- 
duous and onerous by delicate health, cooperated most cordi- 

6 Document Ko. 28. [Sessioa 

ally and effectually, in my attempts to accomplish the purpo- 
ses of the General Assembly. 

My agency, as you are aware, expires by the limitation im- 
posed by the resolution under which I have been acting, with 
the present General Assembly. If further services of a simi- 
lar character shall be desired — and of the necessity for fur- 
ther researcli, my former and present communication will af- 
ford the means of arriving at a satisfactory conclusion — the 
General Assembly will of course allow further time, and au- 
thorize proper research in the archives of our sister States, 
as well as the mother country. 

I have the honor to be, 

With high consideration, 

Your obedient servant, 

To his Excellency, Thomas Beagg. 


Washington, December 4th, 1855. 

DeoT Sir: I snatch a moment from the political bustle 
agitating the federal metropolis, to perform simply a courteous 
duty of acknowledging the receipt of your truly interesting 
and patriotic letter. I intend to avail myself of the first op- 
portunitv, and endeavor to help you in the laudable enterprise 
in which you are engaged. 

Jud at this j>arUcular time it may not be decorous to open 
the subject to Mr. Crampton. We are personally on very 
good terms indeed, and I know he is quite accommodating, 

% -X- * w * 'A -X- * * * 

Be assured the subject shall not escape my attention and 
active co-operation. 

Accept assurances of the high respect 
Of your friend and obedient servant, 


1856-7.] DocTOiENT IsTo. 28. T 


Washington, Febrnai-y 20, 185G, 
Mij Dear Sir: You are right in jonr conjectures, tliat at 
present our relations with Mr. Crauipton forbid my asking 
any fiivor of him. It is to be regretted — but his con(hict was 
inconsiderate and improper. I enclose you a letter of intro- 
duction to Mr. Dallas. Whenever you address him, enclose 
it, and I have no doubt he will cheerfully do what he can. 

Our relations with England are not pleasant just nnw. 
Her construction of the treaty of 1850 is singulai'ly ci-ro- 
neous. She has unquestionably violated it. Her recruitment 
of soldiers in our territory w^as equally wrong, and oifensive 
to our pride. She might venture that^ in a little (Ict'inaii 
principality — but not in a country claiming to 1)0 her e([ual. 
She directed Mr. C. to be particular and not violate our Uiw, 
but to get soldiers. Her apology is, '-'• I am sorry if your 
feelings are liurV — ^^hut Cramjytoti did nothing wrong ^ and ire 
find no fault vnth himr I hope it may all he settled. We 
donH 'Want ivar — loe are for peace — but honor. 

Your friend, 


[ill. — D. L. SWAIN, TO HON. GEOEGE M. DAI-LAS. ] 

Chapel Hill, 1st March, 1.S5G. 
Sir : Tlie enclosed note from the Hon, James C. I)obl)in, 
explains the reasons which render it proper and necessary for 
me to address yon npon the present occasion. The accom- 
panying volume, entitled "Indexes to Documents relative to 
North-Carolina during the colonial existence of the State," 
will serve the purpose of explaining more fully and clearly, 
the objects I have in view, and the nature of the duties which 
at the instance of Governor Bragg, acting under the author- 
ity of resolutions of our last General Assembly, I have un- 
dertaken to perform. 

8 DocuBiENT No. 28. [Session 

The volume referred to, a manuscript copy of whicli, was 
deposited by Mr. Gallatin in the oftice of the American Le- 
U'ution, in London, in 1827, shows that in the office of the 
board of trade and in the state-paper office, many documents 
and records of great value, in connection with the history of 
IsTorth- Carolina, are on file, and that permission for such agent 
as the State might designate for the purpose, was most cour- 
teously given, to take copies of all or any portion, that might 
1)0 desired. I wish to obtain through you, a renewal of the 
courtesy and liberality. 

Carolina was, as you are aware, originally a proprietary 
government. The first charter was dated 24th March, 1663 ; 
the second on the 30tli of June, 1605. These charters grant- 
ed to the Earl of Clarendon, the Duke of Albemarle, Lord 
Craven, Lord Berkley, Lord Ashley, Sir George Carteret, 
Sir "William Berkley and Sir John Colleton, all the lands be- 
tween the southern boundary of Virginia 36° 30' on the north, 
and the river Mathias in Florida 29° on the south, and from 
the iVtlantic on the east to the Pacific ocean on the west. 

The proprietary government existed from 1603 to 1729, (a 
period of sixty-six years,) when all the proprietors relinquish- 
ed tlie sovereignty, and all of them, with the exception of 
Lord Granville, surrendered the title to the soil to the crown. 
lie retained the right of soil, and in l^-ii: his eighth part was 
conveyed to him in severalt}^, by metes and bounds. It em- 
braced the area between the southern boundry of Virginia, 
an(l a line parallel with it, at the distance of 70 miles south, 
and extending from the Atlantic on the east to the Pacific on 
the west. This title Lord Granville retained until the Ameri- 
can revolution, and in the early years of the present century 
attempted to maintain it before the Circuit Court of the United 
States, at Raleigh, on the ground that the change of govern- 
ment woiked neither forfeiture nor escheat of his lands. The 
suit was ultimately removed, by writ of error, to the Supreme 
C^oui't of the United States, wdiere it abated, by the death of 
the Eai-1 during the late war with Great Britain. 

From the beginning of the rojaX government, in 1720, until 
the opening scenes of the revolution, in 1771, these indexes 

1856-'T.] Document ISTo. 28. 9 

sliow that ample materials for tlie elnciclation of our history 
are to be found in the public otHces in London. The obscure 
periods about which comparatively little is known, are from 
1663 to 1729, embracing the existence of the proprietary gov- 
ernment — an:l the early years of the revolutionary war. 

Mr. Gallatin su])posed, apparently with good reason, that 
much information in relation to the former period might be 
obtained by the examination of unarranged files in the office 
of the board of trade, of records entitled " Proprieties and 
Carolina." See his letter to governor Burton and the accom- 
panying communications from the secretary of the board of 
trade, and Lord Dudley, principal secretary of State for foreign 
aftairs, pages 3, 4, 5, 6 of the pamphlet referred to. 

I venture to anticipate satisfactory results from such an ex- 
amination, but to guard against disappointment, desire to make 
proper arrangements for the further prosecution of my re- 
searches, if it shall be found necessary. 

Chalmers, in the composition of his political annals, seems 
to have had many papers at his command, in relation to our 
early history, to which no subsecpient writers have had ac- 
cess. Williamson (Hist. N. C, vol. 1, p. 9, pref.) states that 
he applied to Chalmers for permission to take copies from his 
collections, which was discourteously refused. 

Grahame (Col. Hist. U. S., vol. 1, p. xii) seems to have been 
favored with ready admission to the library of the "distin- 
guished American annalist." He adds little, however, to our 
previous stock of information about the proprietary govern- 
ment. I suppose, therefore, that the papers must have passed 
from the hands of the secretary before the sojourn of Gra- 
hame in Loudon, and may be found among the unarranged 
records referred to by Mr. Gallatin, or that they were re- 
stored to the Lord's proprietors, who held the office of pala- 
tine, at the successive periods to which they relate. If the 
latter supposition shall prove to be well founded I presume 
that the heads of these noble houses will receive with favor 
an application through the American legation for copies of 
such papers as may serve to illustrate their own history, as 
vyell as the annals of Carolina. Mr. Bancroft promised me, 

10 Document No. 28. [Session 

some time since, to enter into a correspondence with Lord 
Shaftsburj, upon this subject, but I have not yet been ad- 
vised of the receipt of any communication from the latter. 

In rehition to our revohitionary history, I have recently 
been so fortunate as to obtain a perfect copy of the letter 
book of Governor Tryon, and the journals of the council, du- 
ring the entire period of his administration, from October, 
1704 to June, 1771, containing very fall as well as authentic 
details in relation to the commotion produced by the passage 
of the stamp act and the war with the regulatoi's. The 
original was purchased for Harvard College, in 1815, by Mr. 
Stevens, of a bookseller in London. The recovery of this 
important record suggests the enquiry whether the letter 
book of Tryon's successor, Josiah Martin, the last of our royal 
Governors, may not be obtained from some source, and thus 
suppl}^ in connection with the Tryon papers, a continuous 
ofhcial narrative of the leading events in the revolutionary 
history of North-Carolina. 

There was probably no single loyalist, who throughout the 
American revolution, rendered such etficient services, to the 
mother country, as John Hamilton. At the beginning of the 
war, he was the leading merchant in the province. lie com- 
manded a regiment under Lord Cornwallis during the inva- 
sions of 1780 and 1781, and was a gentleman of ability, in- 
telligence and integrity. For many years subsequent to the 
revohition, he was his Britanic Majesty's Consul at ]S!orfolk. 

Major Craig, who in 1812, was Sir James Henry Craig, 
Governor General of Canada, took possession of Wilmington, 
early in 1781, preparatory to the second invasion of Lord 
Cornwallis. He nmintaincd his position until the purrender 
of Yorktown rendered his retreat necessary, in the autumn 
of the following year. Governor Burke and suite were his 
prisoners in September, 1781, and the Governor was, under 
his orders, confined for some months, as a prisoner of State. 
The papers of these two gentlemen, if they can be obtained, 
will probably be found, to be not less interesting and impor- 
tant, than those of Governors Tryon and Martin. 

I do not wish to go abroad, until I shall have satisfied my- 

1856-'7] Document ^o. 28. 11 

self, with respect to tlie nature and extent of the collections, 
that can be made in our own country. My present plan is to 
visit London, not earlier than May, 1857. May I venture to 
ash, in behalf of the State of Xorth-Carolina, that such pre- 
vious enquiries and arraug-ements may be made, as may com- 
port with your convenience, and enable me to accomplish, as 
nearly as may be practicable, the wise and liberal purposes 
contemplated by our General Assembly. 
I have the honor to be, 

with high consideration, 

vour obedient servant, 



London, Aug. 18, 1856. 

My Dear Sir: Your letter of the 4th instant, accompanied 
b}^ another addressed to yourself by Ex-Governor Swain, with 
a bound pamphlet of "Lidexes to Colonial Documents, N. C." 
reached me yesterday. 1 will give the purposes of Governor 
Swain every aid in my power, especially as soon as I feel 
somewhat relieved of the central American negotiation, which 
is tapering to the signing point. There may be diiSculties in 
ascertaining the locus in quo of the displaced records, for the 
best employe here is reluctant and unreliable in making a 
^riy«^<' search, without assurance of compensation for trouble, 
and of copying, if successful. You shall hear from me again, 
however, at an early day. 

Always faithfully youi's, 


lion. J. C. Dobbin, &c. 

12 Document Ko. 28. [-Slssio-ri 


London, August 22, 1856. 

2r>j Dear Sir: Since writing tlie enclosed, I liave Lad the 
pleasure to meet Mi-. Somerbj, an American gentleman well 
known to Gen. Cusliing, who was kind enough, at my request, 
to examine the State paper office, and other receptacles of 
records, and whose familiarity with the operation enables him 
to say at once— 

1 That there are many papers readily accessible connected 
with the colonial history of ]^orth Carolina, not adverted to 
in the volume of Indexes sent by Governor Swain, some at 
dates as early as 1661, and multitudes subsequent to 1775. 

2. That South Carolina has already obtained abstracts of 
such papers, as, under the general label of " Carolina papers," 
were of dates anterior to the separation, and of tliese it is pre- 
sumable Gov. Swain could easily obtain copies from Charles- 

3. That abstracts of all the papers connected with ISTorth 
Carolina, whether in the State, paper office, the Britisli muse- 
um, or elsewhere, can certainly be had ; but the trouble and 
expense would be gi-eat, and unless Gov. Swain prefers com- 
ing himself, to superintend the proceeding here, Mr. Somerby 
thinks he could secure all sufficient abstracts by directing and 
guiding a copyist, if the sum of £100 were, in advance, placed 
under the control of some one here, to be applied exclusively 
to that object. 

Mr. Somerby is already engaged in pursuing a similar search 
and examination for the State of Maine. lie tells me that a 
bill was introduced into Congress, authorizing an appropria- 
tion of 20,000 dollars, to enable the government to get all the 
colonial documents from the office here, and that Mr. Mason, 
Mr. Clayton and Mr. Pearce were its friends, but he does not 
know its fate. 

Yerv truly and respectfully vours, 


IIox, J. C. Dobbin, &c. 

1S50-7.] Document Ko. 28. 13 


Chapel Hill, Sept. 10, 1856. 

My Dear Sir: I am greatly obliged, bj the receipt of your 
note of the 6th, and the accompanying comrannications from 
Mr. Dallas of the loth and 22d nit. I have availed myself of 
your permission to take copies of the latter, and in compli- 
ance with your request, I now return the originals. 

The principal object I desired to attain, through the inter- 
vention of Mr. Dallas, was a renewal of the coui-tesy exhib- 
ited to the State in the correspondence between Mr. Gallatin, 
Mr. Lack and Lord Dudley, in 1827, in the permission to 
take copies of documents in the public offices in London, and 
more especially to ascertain whether a like permission can be 
obtained iVom Lord Clarendon, and the other representatives 
of the orig'nal Lords Proj^rietors of Carolina. Upon these 
subjects I aope to hear from him, when relieved from the 
diplomatic a.fficulties and labors, which require immediate 
and constant .ittention. 

In the meaL time, you will greatly oblige me, by transmit- 
ting this note t^' him as an acknowledgment of his kindness. 

"With a hope that a brief sojourn among your friends in 
Fayette ville ma) have the effect to enable you to return to 
your duties, in in. proved health and spirits, 
I an very sincerely and truly. 

Your friend and servant, 


Honorable J. C. Dobbin. 


CAi^ffiRiDGE, February 1, 1856. 
My Dear Sir : In regard to the first inquiry in your letter 
of December 19, I regret that I cannot give you any infor- 
mation concerning the loyahsts. Fanning, Hamilton and 
Craig. iNor do I know where you will be likely to find the 

li Document ^o. 28. [Session 

papers of Governor Martin. If they liave been preserved, 
they are doubtless in the hands of some branch of his ftimily 
in Enghmd, and may perhaps be bronght to light by pursu- 
ing the inquiry in that county. 

As to Chalmers, he undoubtedly procured nearly the whole 
of his materials from the archives of tlie board of trade. lie 
was, for a long time, the secretary of that board. His paper, 
after having been bound in volumes, were sold by his nephew, 
a few years ago, at auction in London. I purchased six vol- 
umes of them relating mostly to New England. They are 
not important, l>eing memoranda, references, and extracts 
used in writing his annals. In his chaj)ter on Carohna, I ob- 
serve he refers to volumes of " Carolina Entries," and also to 
" Carolina Papers." These are all probably now in the ofHce 
of the board of trade, unless they have been removed to the 
state-paper othce since Chalmer's time. 

I remend)er seeing volumes entitled " Proprieties." In 
these, will be found paper,s relating to Carolina, under the 
proprietary government, as mentioned by Mr. Gallatin. I 
forbear to enlarge on this subject, because I deem it absolute- 
ly essential that you, or some other agent from this country, 
should make a personal research in the public offices in Lon- 
don. I have passed several weeks, at two separate times, in 
those offices, and I am sure that no instructions to any person 
there, however precise, will secure a thorough and complete 
examination. Such an agent should be already somewhat fa- 
miliar with the details of the history of IS^orth-Carolina. 

There are two distinct oflices containing American colonial 
papers : first, that of the board of trade, and secondly the 
state-paper office. The index furnished by Mr. Gallatin, ap- 
pears to include such papers only as are in the former ; but 
there are many important papers of a more political charac- 
ter in the state-paper office, particularly from the date of the 
stamp act doM-nwards. In short, a careful and thorough re- 
search should be made in both these offices. 

The mode of application must be through the American 
minister in London, and, with his aid, there will be no diffi- 

lS56-'7] DocuiiENT l^o. 28. 15 

ciilty in procuring- access to any of our colonial papers, and 
permission to have tlieni transcribed. 

I hope you Avill find it consistent with your other occupa- 
tions to fulfil this important agency yourself. I am persuaded 
you will not regret having performed a service, Mdiicli, while 
it cannot fail to gratify your oavu tastes, will he so henelicial 
to the puhlic. 

I have not yet heard from Ilalifiix, and I hegin to fear wc 
may he disappo.nted in our expectations from that rpnirter. 
It is possible that the descendants of the loyalists may feel a 
little delicacy on this point and not be inclined to promote 
any new developments in the history of the unsuccessful 
efforts of their ancestoi-s, although acting in defence of what 
they deemed at the time a loyal and just cause. 

You have probably received before this time the volume of 
Tryon's Letter Booh, by the hands of Professor Iledrick. 
Please present my kind regards to him, and accept the assu- 
rance of the high respect and esteem of 
Yours, most truly, 


Hon. D. L. Swain, President^ cfr. 


Wasuington, August 22d, 1856. 

Dear Sir : I have read with care and with interest the letter 
you have from Gov. Swain. Ilis vie^ys cover the whole 
ground, and it wdll be a proud day for JSTorth-Carolina when 
his suggestions are carried into full effect. Every public paper 
in England that relates to the State should be obtained, for 
until that is done the materials for its history will not be com- 
plete, and this can only be done by the employment of an 
intelligent and faithful agent. 

The only suggestion I have to make is in regard to the 
agent. He should not only be intelligent and faithful, but he 
should be familiar with the duties that would be required of 

IG Document ]^o. 28. [Session 

liim, fiiul Imve a g'oncral knovrledge of a]l tlie depositories of 
American papers in all the public offices in London, and as 
far as may be elsewhere. I know of but one person who has 
tlie ability and perseverance, nnited with the necessary ac- 
qnaintance ■svith the public offices and officers, to enable him 
to perform the task satisfactorily. The person I allude to is 
Mr. Henry Stevens, an American, who, during several years 
residence in London, has become well known to the gentlemen 
in the various departments tlicre, and who has furnished num- 
erous transcripts of public documents and papers to public in- 
stitutions and private persons in this country. If Gov. Swain 
could engage his services, I feel assured that what he purposes 
to have done for the State would be well done. 
Very respectfully, c^^c, 


Hon. J. C. Dobbin, Washington. 


New York, Oct. 25, 1856. 

My Dear Sir : On my return home, after an absence of 
three weeks, I found your letter awaiting m}^ arrival. This 
must be my apology, for not replying sooner. I rejoice great- 
Iv that our State has moved in the business of securing, while 
yet she may, such ])ortions of our documentary history, as 
yet remain in England in the form of ]MSS. 

I satisfied myself when in London, that there was much in 
the colonial office, papers of ante-revolutionary times, that 
we ought to have to make our story complete. But there is 
also, I am persuaded, much that is valuable in the hands of 
the desccndents of the Lord's proprietors. On a proi)er ap- 
plication, I presume it might be obtained. 

I am certain, however, that no agent but one already fa- 
miliar with our his*:ory as far as it is known, can do us much 
good ; and therefore, I rejoice that the work is committed to 

l856-'7] Document No. 28. IT 

your hands. I am deeply interested in your prosecution of 
it to a successful termination. 

In my own humble labors, 1 feel the need of documentary 
evidence yet in England : not in my first volume, for that 
you know embraces the early attempts at colonization, under 
the auspices of Sir Walter Ealeigh only, and I think I have 
about all that remains to us on that subject. But in my sec- 
ond and subsequent volumes, I have relied very much on 
this movement of the State, to furnish materials for speaking 
confidently and truthfully. I can, indeed, tell the story, from 
such sources of information as we have ; but, as an honest 
man, I should be obliged frankly to say, though I have sought 
for truth.^ I am not sure I have always found it. I pray you, 
therefore, do not relax your efibrts to get the matter that is 
in England. 

I thank you very much for repeating your kind offer of aid 
in my work. The truth is, I did not mean to put any MS. 
but that of the first vol. to press, without our minute joint ex- 
amination. As to the first, I knew just what material there was 
for it, and that neither you nor I could add to it ; and be- 
sides, I was anxious, if possible, to lay the beginning of my 
work before the next Legislature, and say — you see what I 
am trying to do for our State — pray help me, by affording me 
unrestricted access to all our archives. 

I hope to see you this winter, and to travel with you over 
a great deal of historic ground, now overgrown with thickets ; 
but I trust we shall be able to cut our way through, and let 
in the sun-light. 

I hope you will not deem it presumptuous in me to say, that 
I think you and I together can make a true history of North- 
Carolina. So far as my opinion is of any value, you are free 
to say, that I consider the thorough examination of the pa- 
pers in England, by some one who, like yourself, knows all 
that we now possess of our early history, to be of the very 
first importance to a truthful narrative of the past ; that we 
ought to possess copies of these papers ; and that I earnestly 

[Doc. No. 28.] 2 

18 Docmo^NT No. 28. [18o6-"r. 

hope our countrymen will facilitate, in every way they can, 
your efforts to obtain them. 

With very sincere regard, 

Your friend, 


To Hon [) [.. Swain, Univerdty N. C. 

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