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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Richard Dobbs Spaight to Alexander Martin
Spaight, Richard Dobbs, 1758-1802
April 30, 1784
Volume 17, Pages 65-66

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Annapolis, 30th April., 1784.


By this post you will receive the requisitions for the year transmitted to you by the Secretary of Congress. The last clause respecting facilities was carried by the Eastern and Middle States, very much against my opinion as I think it a very impolitic measure, and one that will operate very partially among the States. If we view it on the principles of general utility, we will find, it will neither afford a competent payment to the public creditor of his interest, nor will it satisfy the foreign creditor that we mean to do justice by them. It affords little or no relief to our quota of the State in the payment of our requisition, as our accounts against the Continent are not yet liquidated, but operates very much in favor of the Eastern States, whose proximity to Congress possessing a more speculative disposition and paying a greater attention to their interest, than we have done, have got Continental Securities for all monies loaned, services done or articles impressed, while to the southward, it has been made a State debt. Besides it is in direct contradiction to the former part of the report which says the money shall be appropriated to the different purposes for which it is wanted,

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according to the first statement, to wit, the current expences of the year, second to the payment of the debt due from the Superintendent of Finance for the years 1782 & 1784—3d to the payment of the interest on the foreign debt, and lastly the interest on the domestic debt. But by the facilities one fourth of the requisition is anticipated by the discount of interest on the domestic debt, and any failure of payment of the remaining three fourths, must fall either on the current year expences, or the interest on the foreign debt, which certainly should be paid in preference to any other.

The journals being regularly transmitted to you by the Secretary as fast as they are printed, it is unnecessary for me to say any thing on what has been done. The business which Congress have before them, in my opinion can not be finished, by the time which they have fixed on for their adjournment, that is the 3d of June next. You will also receive a resolution respecting Western territory. The little States cannot lose sight of that object; their size when compared to the larger ones appears so trifling, that it creates in them a degree of envy. And notwithstanding the United States have received more land from Virginia, than they will properly dispose of for these twenty or thirty years to come, they are still clamorous for more. From what has been done with the Virginia Cession, I shall be sorry to see any part of our State at the disposal of Congress; and if we do make a Cession of the property of the soil, I hope they will retain the jurisdiction in their own Hands.

Some days ago the New York Delegates pursuant to instructions from that State, laid a Memorial before Congress requesting them to proceed to a decision of the dispute between that State & the Inhabitants of the New Hampshire Grants, at the same time informing Congress that if nothing was done in it, within the space of two months, that they would take up arms to do themselves justice. As the Eastern States have ever secretly encouraged the Vermonters, and opposed every thing being done in the affair by Congress I expect they will now approve every measure that may be attempted, and that in consequence of Congress not coming to any determination on the subject, the flames of Civil War will be kindled in that Country in the course of four or five months.

I am your Excellency's &