The Public Business makes slow advances owing principally to an unhappy division between the Eastern and Southern delegates on a treaty with Spain; the particulars are confined to the Cabinet. I am exceedingly anxious to have your opinion on the Subject and shall endeavor to obtain leave for that purpose. The opposition is likely to become serious, both appear firm and immovable, and Seven States seem determined to carry on the business whilst the five Southern States oppose with a Uniform exertion. How the matter will terminate is quite uncertain; two States have left Congress—Rhode Island and New Hampshire. All other Business seems to be out of view at present; prior to this unhappy dispute the additional powers to the Confederation was reported by the Grand Committee, which now appear out of view, and some Gentlemen insist the Measure will be useless if the present plan is carried into execution, as it will introduce a necessity for a different Government; if seven States can carry on a treaty, or in other words will persist in the Measure; it follows of course, that the Confederated Compact is no more than a rope of Sand, and if a more efficient Government is not obtained dissolution of the Union must take place. We have also had under Consideration a Colonial Government for the Western Country which remains unfinished; the particulars if I mistake not were mentioned in a former letter.
I am sorry to hear our paper money has depreciated. The Currency of New York is yet equal to Silver; how long it will continue in that State is uncertain. The Jersey Currency is also good within the limits of the State, but in this city they make a discount of 15 per Cent. for that Currency. Rhode Island yet remains in the utmost Confusion about their paper Money; the Mercantile Interest will not suffer it to pass, notwithstanding the heavy penalties inflicted by the Acts.
We have had a very moderate Summer and the people in general are healthy. It gives me pain to mention to your Excellency my personal disadvantages, the Naval Stores which I brought with me remain unsold, nor do I see the least probability of disposing of them for money. A method here prevails of bartering for that Article, which does not answer my purpose.
I have been exceedingly anxious for the return of Col. Blount, at which period I am desirous to return. As the State would be unrepresented my Colleagues and myself have not been absent one hour at any time since we took our Seats in Congress. Hope your Excellency will suffer me to return this Fall, that I may have it in my power to make better preparation against the ensuing Spring.