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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Memorial from Robert Fenner concerning his actions as agent for the North Carolina Continental Army
Fenner, Robert, ca. 1755-1816
August 01, 1786
Volume 18, Pages 701-703

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[From Executive Letter Book.]

State of North Carolina,
Halifax County, August 1st, 1786.

May it please your Excellency and Honors:

An Order of Council bearing date at Kingston, July the 4th, 1786, I have received, and must beg leave to offer to your Consideration my reasons for Neglecting to comply with the Resolution of the last Assembly, respecting the final Settlement Certificates in my possession.

The resolution of the Assembly being publicly known previous to an Application for surrender of them by Mr. Hunt, I had received from Several Officers a request to detain their Certificates in my possession (should I think of Complying with the Resolution in Making the delivery), and also, the Claims of Sundry Soldiers, the right to which they Stated to be in their possession—the reasons assigned by them for making the request was, that the Specie still due on the final Settlement, not yet being put into my Hands, they were desirous of leaving with me their Certificates until they could entirely Complete their Settlement. Added to this, every Officer with whom I had an opportunity of Conversing, was of Opinion that the Assembly must have proceeded on misinformation; and Mr. Jackson, Assistant Commissioner, with whom I transacted the Business, informed me, that it was never the Intention of Congress that the State should meddle with the appropriation of the Certificates until it was supposed that all would be claimed were issued on these principles. I thought myself perfectly Justifiable in Neglecting to make a partial delivery of Certificates to Mr. Hunt, which could only tend to derange the Business and leave a much greater opening for speculation and fraud than could possibly take place while the Certificates remained with me.

To endeavor to Convince your Excellency and Honor of the propriety, and indeed almost Absolute necessity of leaving the Certificates some time longer in my possession, I must beg permission to acquaint you that I have just received from the Treasury Board of

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the United States, Orders on Mr. Skinner, Commissioner of Loans for the State, for the sum of thirteen thousand three hundred and sixty-seven 34-90 dollars, in part of the Money stated before to be due to the late line of this State. Whether Mr. Skinner may have it in his power to discharge these orders or not, I shall be under the necessity of shortly communicating with the Officers in what manner the Orders are to be disposed of, at which time they will no doubt expect to receive their Certificates from me. I enclose a Copy of Mr. Pierce's Official Letters respecting the Money part; together with a copy of the receipt taken from me, which will be sufficient to convince your Excellency and Honors that over this part of settlement this State has no control. The very low state of the public Treasury has been the Reason why the Business has not been entirely Completed; and I must declare that to separate it at this period would be productive of so much Confusion that it would be impossible in the future to transact it with accuracy. Exclusive of the Orders I have just received there is a balance on account of subsistance due the Officers of near six thousand dollars, and to the Non-Commissioned and Privates seventeen thousand dollars. These Sums when paid must pass through my Hands. I must of course return my Books and Papers to enable me to complete the business. And I must assure you that to lodge the Certificates in my Hands without the Books would not enable them to make a single issue with certainty.

Mr. Pierce's sentiments, I can inform you, perfectly coincide with Mr. Jackson's, respecting the interference of the State, & I think 'tis extremely evident that Congress could have no other Meaning, as it can not be supposed they would intentionally create obstacles that must tend to evade a Conclusion of the Business, or at least Clog it in such a manner as to prevent dispatch and Accuracy.

Taking all these circumstances into consideration I trust your Excellency and Honors will deem it expedient to rescend your resolution of July the fourth, and suffer me to proceed in the business with regularity. At the next General Assembly I shall attend prepared in all events to comply with their determination respecting the balance of final settlements then in my Hands.

I must confess I cannot avoid feeling greatly surprised at the apparent anxiety of the Legislature to take the Certificates out of my hands. In justice to my own character I will be free to say that no

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public department in this State has transacted Business with more accuracy, punctuality and strict attention to the respective Interests of the public and the Individuals concerned, than has been constantly shewn in the issues from this Office.

Agent late N. C. Line.