Documenting the American South Logo
Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Alexander Martin to the North Carolina General Assembly
Martin, Alexander, 1740-1807
May 10, 1783
Volume 16, Pages 788-789

[From Executive Letter Book.]


I beg leave to draw your attention to the Commissary Generals department of Specific supplies, which was abolished last assembly, without any allowance being made to the Officers for their services. Colonel Davie being at the head of this business, was first appointed by General Greene, Commissary of purchases to the Southern Army, in the year 1781, and was by the General recommended to the board of war of this State, to superinted the provision supplies granted the Army. The board being vested with all the powers respecting the provisions of this State, and the appointment of the Staff in General, and in short everything by them thought necessary for the defence, thinking it proper that the provision supplies should be drawn into one channel for the use of the Army, did in pursuance of General Greene’s recommendation and the powers in them vested, commission Colonel Davie Superintendent Commissary General, with five assistants for the several Districts & one Clerk,

-------------------- page 789 --------------------
who accordingly supplied the Army from the different Commissioners while they continued in this State and the neighbourhood thereof. This appointment was continued under Governor Nash & the Council extraordinary, the same under Governor Burke and the late Speaker of the Senate, all judging the existence of such an Office absolutely necessary, as the executives had other employments on hand that called for their attention than being concerned in the Commissary business.

The Officers in this department look up to Government for support who employed them under the powers given by the Legislature; something is due to them for their trouble and the services they have rendered the public which I am sensible were considerable, notwithstanding some abuses may have been committed in this business as well as others of a public nature, which time and circumstances could not obviate; the late Council has adjudged and accordingly recommended to the Governor to grant them pay from the Treasury equal to those of the same rank in the Continental Line, as also to the Quarter Master General of this State, specially appointed by Governor Nash for the Militia and safe keeping of the Military stores of this State, this I have in some measure declined until I could take the sense of your honorable body further on this subject. In the meanwhile I have granted two hundred pounds Specie to Colonel Davie, and one hundred pounds each to his five assistants & fifty pounds to his Clerk, not knowing to what Offices in the Continental Line their appointments may apply, and not having the sanction of the Legislature to this appropriation of the public Money. You will therefore please to signify your pleasure both respecting the Quarter Master and Commissary General Department that I may conduct myself accordingly to the Gentlemen concerned therein.

May 10th, 1783.
I am, &c.,