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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Richard Dobbs Spaight to Alexander Martin
Spaight, Richard Dobbs, 1758-1802
February 24, 1784
Volume 17, Pages 17-19

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Annapolis, 24th Feby., 1784.


In my letter of the 15th Jany. I informed your Excellency of the ratification of the definitive treaty, and the mode adopted by Congress

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forwarding those despatches to our Commissioners at Paris, for exchange. The French packet in which Colo. Harmer goes had not sailed on the 7th instant. In attempting to go out of the hook some days before the quantity of ice was so great, she missed stays and got aground on Governor's Island; she has since got off and ready to proceed to sea as soon as the wind and weather will permit. Lieut. Colo. Franks is also at New York. He intends going in the Edward Capt. Cowper bound to London. Yours of the 8th Decemr. directed to the Delegation came to hand only this day owing to the irregularity of the Southern post which has almost been stopped by the great falls of snow and the severity of the season; there has been no mail from North Carolina since 25th Decemr. I can not at present inform in what manner the Continental Money is to be destroyed. I am sorry we have so small a proportion of our quota in the Treasury. The attention of Congress has been called to that subject, by a remonstrance from the State of Massachusetts Bay, requesting Congress to fix the rate of Depreciation at which it shall be sunk, the Citizens of that State, having in their hands a large proportion of it, over and above their quota want it fixed at a small depreciation; the business is in the hands of a Committee who have not yet reported. Of the many requisitions for money, not one as yet has been complied with by our State, nor any steps taken for that purpose which will greatly increase our debt in the account with the United States, as I understand each State is charged with its proportion of the requisition and interest thereon from the time on which it ought to be paid. I hope the General Assembly at their annual meeting will do everything in their power to expedite the settlement of our accts. with the United States as by that means the exertions of No. Carolina will be best shown and the little attention she has paid to the requisitions of Congress for money in some measure accounted for or at least palliated.

The necessity of complying with the recommendations of Congress of the 18th of April, 1783, is so evident that can't think it will meet with any opposition from our Legislature, it is certainly a mode by which we can pay our quota of the debt much easier than in any other way. I think that the money that is required exclusive of the 5 pr. ct. had better be raised by a Tax separate and distinct from our State Tax, and entirely appropriated for that purpose.

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Your Excellency will please send forward to the delegation as soon as it can be obtained an account of the number of the white and Black Inhabitants of the State distinguishing the freemen from the Slaves as we are of opinion, it will be a means of reducing the quota of the State, which we think is at present too high.

I have the honor to be your Excellency's
most obt. Hum. Servt.,