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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Richard Ellis to Alexander Martin
Ellis, Richard, fl. 1765-1790
May 09, 1780
Volume 14, Pages 810-811

[From Manuscript Records In Secretary's Office.]

New Bern, 9th May, 1780.


I understand it has been represented in your Honbl. House of Commons that I had not or would not comply with the Terms agreed on with a Committee appointed by both houses in regard to my importing arms in the Brig Bellona for the use of this State. Such a report must be calculated to injure me in the good opinion of the worthy Citizens of this State, and is entirely without foundation, for the Truth of which request Mr. Hawkins, the Commercial Agent, and myself may be called upon, face to face, before the Honbl. the House of Commons, in order to clear up this assertion.

It is a fact, and I think Mr. Hawkins will not deny it, that as soon as the report was made out (having no Doubt, as the Terms were low on my side, but it wd. be concurred with) I took a rough Sketch of it, waited on Mr. Hawkins, and told him I was ready to enter into articles with him for the Importation of the arms, agreeable to what was concluded upon with the Committee. He told me he was also ready as soon as the report was concurred with. When this happened I again waited on that Gentlemen, and his answer was he had not got it from the Clerk. I waited on him 2 or 3 times afterwards, and he still gave me the same answer. I urged that it was an Injury to detain the Brig, that she lay at a heavy Expence, the Crew uneasy, &c. The last time I attended Mr. Hawkins on this matter I told him I w'd wait on the Clerk myself and get the report, for that it had been concurred with by both houses 2 or 3 Days before. I then proceeded to the House in Company with a worthy Member thereof, and called on the Clerk,

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and was told by him he had actually delivered it the day before to Mr. Hawkins, since which, until today I have not talked with him on this subject. He this Morning was so obliging as to call on me about some arms I offered to the public; I then told I was ready and willing to enter into the agreement before mentioned. His answer was that he w'd call in a few Days, and we should conclude upon it.

I am, Sir, respect'ly,
Yr. obt. H. Servt.,