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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from William Blount to Richard Caswell
Blount, William, 1749-1800
March 02, 1786
Volume 18, Pages 554-556

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Piney Grove, March 2d., 1786.


By the Extracts from Colo. Vanderhorst's letters to me herewith delivered, your Excellency will be informed of the impracticability of getting the goods belonging to the State of North Carolina, and intended to be given to the Cherokees in presents for lands to be ceded to Hopewell, near Fort Rutledge, before the treaty was formed and signed between those Indians and the Commissioners of the United States, on the part of the United States. Had they arrived before the commencement of that business, I believe every thing the State could have wished or expected to have been done might have been effected, but they did not arrive before the fifth

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day of December, when it appeared to me to be utterly impossible to obtain a Cession of a single foot of Land for that, or any other quantity of Goods. Of this I presume your Excellency will not require a better proof than the treaty formed by the Continental Commissioners, with those people and their Journal of that transaction. This being the case and considering it unsafe, both as to Moths and Robbery to let the goods remain at Hopewell or in the vicinity thereof at the risque of the State, I thought it best to dispose of them on the best terms I could for the benefit of the State which I accordingly did as you will see by the Account of Sales. I herewith also deliver an account of the disposition of the Six Hogsheads of rum that were intended for the Indian Guards, &c., had a treaty been held. I am prevented from laying before you at this time an account of the Charges for freight, wagonage, &c., as I have not been able to collect the whole of them.

I beg leave to call your attention to my letter of Instruction to Mr. Ogg and to the three Hogsheads of rum at Washington and to request your Excellency to give such further Orders as you may judge necessary. As to that part of the goods with which I am charged in my account of Sales, I consider myself answerable in the same manner as Mr. Ward is with this difference, that I mean to pay in money; the fact is I sold the whole of the goods to Mr. Ward and the part that I stand charged with I applied to my own use by permission of Mr. Ward, and have charged myself the same price that he was to have paid for them.

I considered it necessary to return from Hopewell by way of Charleston to effect a settlement with Colo. Vanderhorst for the Goods, Rum and Corn shipped to his address. On my arrival there I found him pledged for a duty on the said Goods and rum claimed by the officer of the Customs, (see a Copy of his Note of engagement signed, “a true Copy. Peter Poiquit.”) whereupon, I addressed his Excellency William Moultrie, Governor, &c., of the State of South Carolina, and requested him to give the necessary orders to the Officers of the Customs to discharge Col. Vanderhorst from his engagement, as the Goods and Rum were the property of the State of North Carolina, and by the Confederation exempt from the imposition of any duty. A Copy of my letter to him your Excellency will find among the papers herewith delivered. The Original was referred to the General Assembly then Sitting and there's no doubt

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but the determination of that Body will be strictly agreeable to the Confederation. I sincerely lament that it has not been in my power to render my Country more service in this Business, for in no Commission with which she has been pleased to Honor me, have I been more solicitous to serve her essentially.

I am, Your Excellency's
Most Obedient and most humble Servt.,