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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Richard Dobbs Spaight to Alexander Martin
Spaight, Richard Dobbs, 1758-1802
July 23, 1784
Volume 17, Pages 88-89


Annapolis, 23rd July, 1784.

Since my last to your Excellency, the Committee have received a Letter from Mr. de Marbois, Charge des affaires for the Court of France informing us that his most Christian Majesty had opened the ports of Isle of France and Bourbon to the American Vessels in order to facilitate our Commerce to the East Indies, he has not received the intelligence officially, but it may be depended on. I have enclosed a copy of his Letter.

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I formerly mentioned to you the situation of our Indian affairs in the Northern and middle department were by no means agreeable. To give you some idea of them I send you a Copy of a Letter from General Muhlenburg; he thinks unless a treaty is made with them this Fall, we shall be unavoidably involved in a war. That a treaty will be made this Fall is a matter of great doubt with me, it depends entirely on the Commissioners getting a Sufficient number of troops for their protection, from the 700 which Congress recommended to the States of Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania to raise from their militia for 12 months. None of the States have as yet ordered them to be raised. Their Assemblies are called to deliberate on the measure; if they should even comply with the recommendation I don't think the troops can be raised, arranged, &c., before the Season for holding a treaty would elapse.

I enclose your Excellency a Copy of a Letter from Thomas Chattendon, Governor of the Vermontees. The four Eastern States are in favour of making Vermont a free, Sovereign & Independent State, as it will not only weaken New York but throw a fifth vote in their scale; from the language of the latter, it would seem that they were sensible of this support; if it has no other effect, it has certainly added to their importance. Should the New Yorkers have recourse to arms, as they have informed Congress they would, unless their differences should be determined within a limited time (which has now expired) I expect we shall have a little dust kicked up during the Fall between them and Vermont.

We have received Letters from Colo. Harmen and Lieut. Colonel Franks, giving us an acct. of their arrival, the former in France, the latter in England. Mr. Laurens in his last Letter informs us that Mr. Hartley was setting off for Paris to exchange the ratification with our ministers, preferring that place to London, as he receives a handsome stipend for every journey.

I have the honor to be, &c.,
His Excellency
The Governor of North Carolina.