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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from John Haywood to Richard Caswell
Haywood, John, 1755-1827
March 10, 1786
Volume 18, Pages 567-568

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Tarborough, March 10th, 1786.


I do myself the honor to hereby inform you that, pursuant to my appointment, I have now on hand a considerable quantity of tobacco, and am daily getting more. In a very few weeks, the removal of Tobacco from Tarborough to Washington will become impracticable, thro' the falling of the Water, I have therefore to request your Excellency's directions as to the place to which such Tobacco as I may from time to time purchase shall be shipped. Should you order it to Philadelphia or New York, I have some thought, in case I can render it convenient, to go with or meet it there. My Motive for doing so would be to save to the State the extravagant commission of 5 per Cent., which I am told in case of Consignment, is the least that will be demanded, and which would be a deduction from the net proceeds, of which I believe few of our Assembly had any Idea. Mr. Blount offers to send in his Vessels such Tobacco as I may purchase, to either of the above mentioned places or elsewhere; he cannot at one time carry to the full amount of my intended purchases, nor do I know that it would be advisable to send all at the same time. He writes me one of his Vessels is or will in a very few days be ready to take in a load, and it is from this cause as well as to avoid paying warehouse rent at Washington,

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which by shipping immediately I might probably do, that I am induced to request your immediate directions.

Mr. Combs, of Philadelphia, called on me after leaving you at Kinston. He appeared to flatter himself with a hope of having the Consignment of the Public Tobacco. Told me that was the cause of his waiting on your Excellency and from his having convinced you of his responsibility that he hoped the Tobacco would be sent to the address of his House. I observed to him that I should, as to the place of shipping and the Consignment of the Tobacco, consider myself as being wholly under the direction of your Excellency, & therefore, that it was not in my power to give him any assurances on that head; otherwise than that, I would send it to him on condition you directed me to do so; he likewise demands a Commission of 5 per Cent. I fear there is not a house either in Philadelphia or New York equal to advancing the Cash for any Considerable quantity of Tobacco; should that be the Case the Tobacco must be again stored, and would perhaps by lying, become injured. However, of these Matters I consider your Excellency the only Judge in the present Instance.

As I consider myself by no means an adept in Mercantile Affairs and am exceedingly anxious to answer the expectations of the legislature in the execution of my appointment, I would receive with gratitude any directions or advice your Excellency may have leisure to give me and that you will consider me.

With the highest respect & esteem,
Your obedient Servant,