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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Benjamin Harrison to Alexander Martin
Harrison, Benjamin, ca. 1726-1791
December 25, 1783
Volume 16, Pages 925-926

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Virginia, Richmond, December 25, 1783.


The Assembly of this State impressed with the necessity of a vigorous opposition to the measures taken by the British Court and Parliament to destroy the American trade have passed an Act vesting the Congress of the United States with full powers to form such negotiations as they may think necessary to force that still haughty Nation into a Commercial Treaty reciprocally advantageous to them & us.

I need not press on your Excellency the propriety of an immediate

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joint opposition and advance reasons in support of a measure so obviously calculated to serve the general Interests of America, your own good sense will furnish them more forcibly than any thing that can fall from my pen will do. I shall therefore enter no farther into the subject, and have only to request the favor of you to lay the Act which I have now the honor to enclose you before your next Assembly, who I doubt not will weigh the subject properly, and adopt the proposed plan which appears to me the only one that will prove efficacious or blast the expectations of the British, who build all their hopes of enforcing their regulations on the want of power to form one general system for the whole Union and the aversion of the several States to invest them with such a power.

I enclose you a Copy of an interesting paragraph of a Letter from our Ambassador to Congress this moment received, which places our present situation in such a light that I think it impossible for the States to hesitate a moment in investing Congress with sufficient powers to make effectual opposition, not only to the plans of Great Britain but all other European Nations who might be inclined to follow her example.

I have the honor to be, &c.,