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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Archibald Maclaine to George Hooper
Maclaine, Archibald, 1728-1790
March 07, 1782
Volume 16, Pages 533-535


Wilmington, 7th March, 1782.

By favor of Maj. Grainger.]

My Dear Sir:

I have received your two letters of the 22nd & 27th of February by Forsyth & Mallett.

Your present situation is in my opinion disagreeable from two circumstances only. One is, not having it in your power to purchase any more goods, and the other, an approaching peace, which

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I firmly believe will take place, and I am apprehensive prevent you from making profits, and possibly occasion considerable loss.

Having received your packet by Forsyth only yesterday, and being much engaged in business of various kinds, I have not been able to pay proper attention to the principal subject of your letter, but I confess that I am now concerned that you petitioned as a British merchant, as I think you might have had your goods covered by some friend; and notwithstanding the opinion of Col. Lytle and the other Officers, which possibly may be well founded, as far as it respects this State, yet it is certainly owing to that petition, & that only, that you are now in a disagreeable predicament.

As to Governor Martin, there can be no expectation that he will do anything that will be finally conclusive in your favour. His understanding is not of the first-rate, and his notions are confined. Add to this that he is courting popularity with great avidity. He cannot however, and indeed does not, consider citizens in your situation as British subjects; but whether he will, in a proper manner, declare so much, is the question. He was but two or three days at Hillsborough after I went there, and so much hurried with business that I had but little opportunity to know his full sentiments, but he seemed to decline entering into conversation about people in your situation.

Our good friend, J. W., has lost ground with his Excellency. He had applied to have Spiller made Judge of the Admiralty. I knew what was going forward, and by a little political address circumvented. The commission for specie came inclosed to me with a letter for J. W., in which he had not the satisfaction to know the person appointed. I am now opposing our said good friend as a candidate for Wilmington, & I have not the least doubt of succeeding, unless a riot should mar the election. We are likely to have a very considerable number of good members in this District, Bladen excepted, and there is a probability that Owen will be one there. I, therefore, purpose of considering of the best mode of doing business till the election (which begins on Monday the 10th) is over, and then I hope to have it in my power to do something effectual. The moderation shown in the Southern States will greatly assist me.

There is certainly no way of getting clear of a recognizance but by a personal appearance; nor can the Governor regularly clear

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you from it, and if the Assembly does not interfere, you must attend and abide the consequences. I have not, however, the least idea that any accusation will be preferred against you. Even Walker, if in power, would scarcely attempt it, and if he should be disappointed in views of a seat in the Assembly, he will have policy enough to keep fair with me. But if you should come here immediately & enter into recognizance, you must return at the Court, unless a general pardon should take place. For my own part, were it not that your hands are tied up for purchasing, I should not advise you to remain as you are till after the sitting of the Assembly, when I am morally certain that every species of peace will be restored to the Country and its Inhabitants, considered individually. Could you not continue to evade the restriction laid upon you by the interposition of some friend? If you cannot come to a decision on this letter you must wait my next.

It is certain that Kitty is not well, but I am not at all apprehensive on her account. Were you here her spirits would be better, and her complaint would be more attended to. With the real business I have on hand, and the perplexity occasioned by a parcel of people who are of no other use in a family than to throw everything into confusion, I am often greatly perplexed and have scarcely leisure to attend to anything.

Possibly I may be able to prevail on the Governor to take security for your appearance when called upon. I shall attend particularly to Bartey, and every other thing you mention.

If I do not get the things I want by water God knows when I shall have them. I must run the risque. Is table linen a part of my list? If not, it is an omission. Mrs. Maclaine says she wants black Calimanso for shoes, but I suppose shoes, if to be had, would be better.

Grainger is now waiting for my letter. He is a candidate for the Senator’s seat in this county, & says he is sure of going, but I wish he could have attended the election.


Yours affectionately,