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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Alexander Martin to Nathanael Greene
Martin, Alexander, 1740-1807
November 16, 1782
Volume 16, Pages 718-719

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Hillsborough, Nov. 16th, 1782.


Your Letter of the 21st ultimo was handed me yesterday at this place, where I am waiting for the meeting of the Legislature, who stood adjourned to the first of this Instant; but I am doubtful a Session will not be made at this time as few members have appeared; which will be truly distressing to the Executive at present; so restricted with former acts of Assembly that those exertions for supplies you were taught to expect, have in some measure failed for want of Legislative aid. The Assembly have not appointed out any other mode by which Cattle, or other provision articles are to be procured but by our Specific Tax Law, which I find answers very little purpose for the Army, the supplies granted in the same being so small, will almost sink themselves in the collection. In this situation I endeavoured to raise Cattle by Contribution, and had succeeded tolerably well until the abolishment of the late Commissary General Department, when the Cattle contributed were generally returned to their owners; many of whom refuse to deliver them on second application, and they cannot be had without impressment, a measure I wish not to adopt but in the last recourse. However Sir, in the Districts of Edenton and New Berne about 400

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or 500 head of Cattle I have returns are in the hands of the Commissioners, and are ready to be sent forward, if some persons from the Commissary General would come into the State and receive them for I have no Superintendants I can rely on in this business. Drivers and other persons necessary will be ordered to attend him from our Militia. Colonels Wade and Emmet are very busy in Wilmington District to send you another drove of Cattle, what number I have not had the account of. Should the Assembly meet I shall earnestly press them to levy a Tax of Cattle and pork on every County in the State or some equivalent to Mr. Morris’ late demands for Specie, which cannot be had from the State in its present impoverished situation and slender commerce. If the Army could be supported with those essential articles at the market prices, the end of Specie in a great measure would be answered. I have written to Colonel James Emmet, the Superintendent of Wilmington District on your requisition of Hogs, where I am told many may be had; and have instructed him to procure as many as possible immediately agreeable to your request. I wish some proper person might be sent into the State from the Commissary of the Army (as I have already hinted) to receive, direct, and manage the business after the collections are made, whose presence would be a spur to the Commissioners. What a number of Barrels of Pork you can depend on I cannot inform you at present, considering the tender ground on which I walk, without Legal support, and the difficulty attending Contributions. But Sir every exertion in my power however feeble shall be made use of, to obtain you the desired supplies, should the Assembly not meet to aid me. When a Session can be formed, the subject matter of your late Letters will be laid before them for their first object.

I am, Sir, &c,