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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Benjamin Hawkins to Richard Caswell
Hawkins, Benjamin, 1754-1816
September 26, 1785
Volume 17, Pages 523-525

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Charlestown, 26th Sept, 1785.


I some time past acknowledged the receipt of your Excellency's Letter of the 23d of July to the Commissioners of Indian Affairs. The difficulty of procuring provisions and wagons to transport the necessaries

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for the Indian Treaties and the great distance many of the Tribes are from, the places appointed where the Treaties are to be held have rendered it necessary for the Commissioners to fix a period later than the one mentioned to your Excellency. They have therefore appointed the Treaty at Golphenton to be on the twenty-fourth of October, and that at Fort Rutledge on the 15th of November.

I informed your Excellency that the Commissioners wou'd approve of any place whereby the money promised from the State of North Carolina cou'd be placed in the hands of Mr. Gervais and Owen; I hope the negotiation of this business will not meet any obstruction as we have already engaged the money.

Colonel Vanderhost informs me he has received from Messrs. J. Gray and Thomas Blount some packages of dry goods and other articles to be sent to Kerroe to the Commissioners of North Carolina, and that it was not at present in his power to procure any wagons to transport any part of it. I shall render him any aid in my Power, and shall write up to the District of Ninety-six for wagons. During this month General Pickens cou'd not procure one there to carry up the Stores of the United States, but in October they will be less engaged on their farms and some provisions may be had on the road for their support. The drought has been so great in the interior part of this State, that the Citizens will not have provisions to last 'till the Spring.

I expect the Indians will be punctual in meeting the Commissioners as they are desirous of the friendship of the United States, being exceedingly humbled by the Termination of the Revolution. The Agent of Georgia among the Creeks has lately informed Governor Elbert that the Americans on the Mississippi have taken the Fort from the Spaniards at the Natches. The Governor says he hopes it is not true but I think otherwise.

I have just received a letter from the Secretary of East Florida, he informs me has heard some confused reports of a ruptnre at the Natches, and is unacquainted with the particulars, but he thinks we have no right to the Navigation of the river or to a settlement in the Natches District.

This Legislature made a House yesterday to endeavor to restore Order in this Government, and there are various modes thought of,

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some are for the emission of money, some for establishing a bank of loan under the authority of the State, some for shutting up the Courts of Justice for a time and some for the emission of money and Stay of Execution. You must have heard that for some time past, the Collection of Taxes, in many parts of the State have been impeded and law proceedings altogether put a stop to, by the disorderly behaviour of some of the Citizens. This is variously accounted for and I believe the true reason to be this: On the Termination of the late War, several Adventurers run deep in debt for dry goods and for slaves, the latter at as high a price as eighty pounds Sterling. The people are unable to pay, and unwilling to be bereaved of what they have in possession, and that they may continue to hold it, they openly oppose the Execution of the laws, and clamour against the British Merchants and Others, their Creditors, as having combined to ruin the State. The common people ever ready for novelty imbibe their doctrine with avidity. I have the Honor to be Sir,

Your Excellncy's mo. obedt. and hum. Servt.,