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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from William Cumming to Richard Caswell
Cumming, William, 1724-ca. 1797
July 17, 1786
Volume 18, Pages 689-690

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Edenton, 17th July, 1786.

Dear Sir:

Your Excellency some time ago condescended to enclose me your Certificate for two hundred and 56 pounds on the Treasurer which was presented to him and there being no money it remains yet unpaid on Account of the Fatal Depreciation attending our paper Currency and the disadvantage of making remittance in Country Produce to the Northward, which would sink of the Capital at least 50 per Cent., the Sum to be received would by no Means answer the Style and dignity of a Member of Congress. You have had a long acquaintance with me, and know perfectly well my plain manner of expressing myself, and I am Necessitated now to say that I depend upon your Excellency sending me a Certificate for the Balance allewod by the State, and a Sufficient Sum for going and coming,

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as I shall set off for New York in a very few days, being perfectly satisfied that some of the Members are willing to return who, by this time, I suppose are poor indeed.

I have run through a long spell of sickness but am now on the Recovery, though obliged to use another hand in writing this letter. You did me the Honor in my last progress to Congress to wish me success and reputation and promised to supply me with documents and Instructions. It would give me great pleasure to keep up a constant literary correspondence with you, if not as official letters, letters of Friendship and Communication. Will keep a diary of public transactions of which you shall have Constant information, and anything else worth notice, foreign and political, shall be transmitted to you. I hope you will believe that all your commands shall be punctually attended to. There is a little office I have held many years under your appointment. As to Lucre trifling, but in its consequences of great importance, as the Interest of Merchants and Trade and Commerce greatly depend on the Integrity of the Officer. I should therefore be very sorry to see it entrusted in any Venal or corrupt person's power or possession for which purpose I shall entreat your Excellency to enclose a Commission during my absence to Mr. Blake Baker, to officiate as Notary Public for the district of Edenton. My nephew Mr. Hamilton who officiated during my absence before, now being to the northward I cannot say when he will return.

My Doctor tells me it is Necessary I should be at the Northern air. Ill natured people may say I want the public money to reform my Constitution but be assured if there is a full representation and if the Honorable Members of Congress for this State will say they can do without me; I shall seek a private retirement and live upon my own money.

Let me Conclude with wishing your Excellency every Honor in your Public Station and every happiness in your private life, declaring that I am with Sincerity, Dear Sir,

Your obedient and very Humble Servt.,