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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from John Haywood to Richard Caswell
Haywood, John, 1755-1827
March 22, 1786
Volume 18, Pages 579-580

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[From Executive Letter Book.]

Tarborough, March 22nd, 1786.


Since having the honor of receiving your letter of the 14th Inst. I have been again applied to by Mr. Blount on the subject of his transporting the public Tobacco; the late arrival at Washington of one of his Brigs together with his solicitude to be finally answered on that head, causes my troubling your Excellency with this, which you will be pleased to consider a solicitation for your Instructions. Lest you should not as yet have obtained a Complete Copy of the Act of Assembly under which the Tobacco is purchased I have taken the liberty of sending you herewith enclosed an Extract which includes the whole of the duties by that Act enjoined your Excellency. I yesterday saw Mr. Jacob Blount who is immediately from New York, he says Tobacco sells there for 33/ only, and that money was not to be had for it even at that price. I shall, pursuant to your Excellency's advice, loose no time in getting down the river such Tobacco as I have already on hand.

I would now beg leave to trespass so far on your Excellency's patience to make mention of the Motives which led to my having it in Contemplation to accompany my purchases in case of their being Ordered to the Northward, which were these. Mr. Combs told me he should in case I consigned to him, charge 5 per Cent., that he would sell no man's Merchandise for less; and those are the terms which I believe he offered the other Commissioners. As to my own part I made no kind of Contract with him other than as I heretofore did myself the honor of writing you from the acquaintance I had with that Gentleman. I thought him Clever, I think him so still and should be pleased with his having the Consignment and sale of my purchases provided he would do that business on as easy terms as Others, but it seems he will not, for soon after his departure from this Country Mr. Blount wrote me that he was well satisfied Messrs. Stewart & Barr, Merchants, and of one of the most respectable Houses of Philadelphia, could sell the Tobacco to as great

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an advantage as any other of that place and that he was convinced that they would do it for two per Cent. Mr. Kinchen, of Halifax, wrote soliciting the Consignment and sale of their Tobacco, said the Commissioner of Halifax has promised him assurance and that he would execute that business for as little as any other person could. This being the case and I know not what would be the best and thought for a few days of going with the Tobacco myself; 'tis true I would not willingly go for a much larger Commission than two per Cent. I do not think it was the intention of the Assembly that any Merchant should have a hand in this business and I am exceedingly desirous of conducting it if possible agreeably to their wishes. I beg you to be assured it is from this principle alone and not from any hope of gain that I should be induced to go. I purpose writing Mr. Combs in order to be informed whither he will not do this Business on more easy terms in case I do not go.

Sir, I am,
Your Obedient Servant,