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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Alexander Martin to Richard Dobbs Spaight and Hugh Williamson
Martin, Alexander, 1740-1807
December 04, 1784
Volume 17, Pages 111-112

[From Executive Letter Book.]

New Bern, Decm'r 4th, 1784.


Enclosed you have an Act of the Legislature repealing the Act for ceding to Congress the Western lands, for the reasons mentioned in the preamble of the said act, which I am requested by the Assembly to forward on to you with the utmost dispatch.

The Assembly flatter themselves that the Delegates have not yet proceeded to complete the title of the Cession from Doctor Williamson's last letter wherein he recommends a pause to be made, and my request to Messrs. Spaight and Sitgreaves to delay this business until they heard from the Legislature. The powers given to the Delegates on this subject, in the opinion of the Assembly are no more than those of a Letter of Attorney and are revocable at any time before the Execution of the trust reposed in them be completed.

The Assembly have laid a Tax to discharge the interest of the Foreign loan which is to be collected with the State Taxes, and be remitted to Congress.

The Assembly adjourned yesterday, to the first Monday in November next, to meet at this place. During the Session, the Hon. Richard Caswell was Elected to succeed in the Government at the expiration of the present appointment. The Hon. William Blount, Esquire, was appointed Speaker of the Commons, who with John

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Sitgreaves, Charles Johnson, Timothy Bloodworth, Adlai Ozborn and Richard D. Spaight, Esqrs., were elected Delegates to commence their delegation on the first Monday in November next; the Commissions will be sent on to Congress by Post, or some other safe conveyance, together with particular Commissions to such of you Gentlemen they concern.

I have received a rich belt of Wampum from the Chickasaws expressive of their friendship, for which I am to make a return in clothing to the amount of £100, a Copy of their Talks I shall forward on to you some other opportunity.

Upon repealing the Cession Act the Assembly have resolved that a Treaty be held with the Cherokees for their claim to the western Lands, & that the Goods purchased for them be sent forward for this purpose. In April I propose to hold the Treaty with them at the Great Island in Holston; or some convenient place in that Country. The Indians are very uneasy at our delay in this business, which was occasioned by the Cession aforesaid. I have to acknowledge the favor of Mr. Spaight's Letter dated at Philadeldhia 3rd November, and Doctor Williamson's from Edenton, which I laid before the Assembly—just as the Assembly rose Doctor Williamson's Letter of the 3rd of October came to hand. The intelligence communicated in the last is very interesting respecting the British Troops retaining the Posts on the frontiers of the United States. The Militia Bill fell through for new arranging the Militia, an object recommended to them at the opening of the Session.

You will please to agree with the Financier for some person in the Southern States to come forward and settle our Continental accounts with General Caswell who continues in the Comptroler's office until he takes the Government, and then Mr. Child his first Clerk is to succeed him. I shall write you by Capt. Craddock, bound to New York from this port, more particularly, who has my instructions to wait upon you in person with a Duplicate of the act enclosed.

I have the honor to be, &c.,
To the Hon'ble,
The Delegates in Congress.