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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Richard Caswell to Arthur Lee, Walter Livingston, and Samuel Osgood
Caswell, Richard, 1729-1789
July 09, 1786
Volume 18, Pages 679-680

[From Executive Letter Book.]

North Carolina, July 9th, 1786.


I am honored with your letters of the 29th of May and 8th June, enclosing Copies of the Correspondence passed between the Treasury Board and Robert Morris, Esqr., on the subject of our public Tobacco; and also, proposals for purchasing the same by Nicholas Romayne, Esqr., which I did myself the honor to lay before the Council of State for advice. That Board came to the Resolutions which I have the honor to enclose you a Copy of.

I confess my own opinion was different from the Gentlemen of the Council, perhaps governed in too great a degree by a most anxious desire of making as speedy payments as possible of some part of our Debts. We cannot take upon us to say what might have been the intention of the Assembly regarding the Sales of Tobacco, but I am certain, had the price offered have been such as the Council would have conceived adequate, that Board would have advised me to order a delivery of the Tobacco, to one or other of the Gentlemen which I should not have hesitated to perform.

By the returns of the purchasing Commissioners, I find there are lodged in Lockhart's warehouse, a small distance above Edenton, two hundred Hogsheads of Tobacco, and one hundred and fifteen Hhds. at Ryan's warehouse, two miles from the former, these make 315 Hogsheads, and weigh 354,000 ℔s net and can be with the same facility taken off at these warehouses as at Edenton. At Washington

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there is stored in warehouses belonging to Mr. Richard Blackledge and Messrs. J. G. Blount & Thos. Blount 363,000 ℔s net.

The warehouses in Wilmington being not long since destroyed by fire, storage could not there be had, or the greater part of the purchase at Fayetteville would have been before this at that place. I am informed a large warehouse is now building, and will be ready for the reception of the public Tobacco by the 20th Inst. The Commissioner assures me no time shall be lost in transporting the Tobacco to that place, and that he expects to have there early next month 520 to 530 Hhds. ready for shipping.

Thus, Gentlemen, you have as circumstantial an account of this business as I am able to give you. I consider the State under great obligations to you for going out of the immediate line of your duty to serve her Citizens. Permit me to entreat you will be pleased to proceed in this business, and do therein what appears to you to be right and consistent with the interests of the United States in general, of this State in particular. And advise me of such measures as you shall think proper to adopt as early as possible, that I may communicate the same to the purchasing Commissioners whose duty it will be to deliver the Tobacco.

I have the honor to be,
With sentiments of respect and esteem, Gentlemen,
Your mo. ob. & very humbl. Servt.,