Documenting the American South Logo
Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Alexander Martin to Richard Dobbs Spaight and Hugh Williamson
Martin, Alexander, 1740-1807
June 04, 1784
Volume 17, Pages 78-80

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Hillsborough, June 4th, 1784.


Yesterday the Assembly rose, having made the longest session since the revolution. The many important recommendations from Congress have chiefly employed their time. You have here seven Acts passed this session, certified under the great Seal, which I am directed to present to Congress through you. They contain almost all the substance of every principal recommendation relative to Finance, the request of Congress as to the Western Lands, their favorite object, is complied with. The Assembly having liberally ceded the whole territory with little reserve, the Act empowers you to Execute

-------------------- page 79 --------------------
grants for the same. Whether the cession will be accepted, is with some a doubt, as our land office hath been open for some time for entries of these lands, and large quantities have been taken up, but still there remains great tracts undisposed of beyond the Tennessee to the Mississippi claimed by the Chickasaws. It is expected should Congress accept the Cession, they will be as liberal to North Carolina as they have been to Virginia on this Subject. This business you will conduct according to your prudence, not being limited to any particular instructions more than the reservations in the act.

A Resolution respecting a treaty to be held with the Cherokee Indians you have herewith for the information of Congress; the amount of the goods purchased by Mr. Blount for this purpose is £2,500 current money and are in his possession ready for their disposal. I have acquainted Mr. Beresford, Chairman of Indian Affairs, with this particular.

The Acts herewith you will please to present to Congress from the State, printed copies will be sent you, and to the Ministers of Congress, as soon as the printer hath finished them.

Attention hath been duly paid to his Excellency, the Minister of France's Letter respecting the Marquis of Bretigny's Agency, &c., to whom I have enclosed the resolution of the Assembly on that Subject with which I shall comply as soon as monies arise from our State impost or present Tax.

I have recd. no Letters from you since those dated the 29th of April, the 25th of March; the 8th and 9th of April from Doctor Williamson are come forward; from Mr. Spaight the 12th of March & 30th of April with sundry enclosures.

The Assembly came to no Resolution as to the Refugees. Debates ran high, several bills fell through respecting them, and the confiscated property remains unsold, which were laid over to the next Session.

Five Gentlemen are added to the Delegation to represent this State, from the first Monday in November next, one year, agreeable to a recommendation of Congress, to-wit, John Sitgreaves, Thomas Person, Benjamin Smith, Adlai Osborn and William Cumming, Esquires, the first in nomination to serve first if they cannot agree otherwise as to the time of service.

-------------------- page 80 --------------------

The Assembly have altered the time of holding the Annual meeting which is now to be on the first of October next. An election of members is to be on the third Friday in August. The annual Officers, except the Delegates, to be then chosen who are to take place at the expiration of the year the present officers were elected for.

Your appointment was early sent forward & I hope went safe and in time. You will please to inform me whether it is the pleasure of either of you, or both to remain at Congress after November next, that I may notify the Gentlemen here when to proceed.

A State temporary impost is laid on all Merchandize until Congress certify all the States have agreed to the Continental; the Collectors for the State are also nominated for the Continental duties; General Benbury for Roanoke, Samuel Ferebee for Currituck,——Dixon for Washington, Capt. John Daves for Beaufort, and Capt. James Read for Wilmington, Nathan Keais for Port Bath.

The Gentlemen nominated by Mr. Morris to control our Continental accounts is thought by the Assembly to be rather too far Northward for this Business, and wish not to trouble any person at such a distance with our affairs, when some Gentleman may be nearer had in some of the Southern States in the room of Mr. Montgomery. Mr. Morris is to consult you on this subject. You will please to direct whatever Gentleman is agreed upon to proceed to Kinston in this State where General Caswell, the State Comptroller, is preparing the business for him.

I am with very great esteem, &c.,