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Letter from James Duane et al. to Samuel Johnston
Duane, James, 1733-1797; Jay, John, 1745-1829; Livingston, Walter, 1740-1797; Gerry, Elbridge, 1744-1814; Holten, Samuel, 1738-1816; King, Rufus, 1755-1827
June 15, 1785
Volume 22, Pages 632-633

JOS. DUANE AND OTHERS TO SAM’L JOHNSTON, ESQ.

New York, 15th June, 1785.

Sirs:

We hope the notification of your appointment as one of the Judges in a controversy between the states of Massachusetts and New York transmitted by the Secretary of Congress will have been received before this reaches you.

The magnitude of the interest to be decided upon makes it the wish of both states that the determination may be had by a full court and not a bare quorum.

A Federal Court is the only mode of decision on questions of territorial rights between the States and should gentlemen of the first

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abilities and the mutual choice of the contending states decline the appointment this institution, however beautiful in theory will sink into disrepect and become incapable of yielding those advantages to the Confederacy which have been expected.

Impressed with these sentiments we solicit your attendance as one of our Judges at the time and place mentioned in the official communication of the Secretary of Congress.

Although we consider the pecuniary compensation as the least inducement to your attendance, yet we beg leave to assure you that it shall be such as will give the most entire satisfaction.

With the highest consideration we have the honor of being, Sirs,
Your most obedient servants,
JAS. DUANE,
JOHN JAY,
WALTER LIVINGSTON,
Agents for New York.
E. GERRY,
S. HOLTEN,
RUFUS KING,
Agents for Massachusetts.
Honorable Samuel Johnston, Esquire, North Carolina.