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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Hugh Williamson to Richard Caswell
Williamson, Hugh, 1735-1819
October 27, 1786
Volume 18, Pages 772-773

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[From Executive Letter Book.]

Edenton, October 27th, 1786.


On receiving the Commission which your Excellency was pleased to forward I held myself in readiness to proceed towards Annapolis so as to be there on Monday the 4th day of September, but as a single member had no Vote I waited till I should hear that some other of the Commissioners were on their way; having reason to fear that Mr. Nash would not find it convenient to Attend I wrote to Mr. Blount proposing that we should forthwith set out a full week before the Time mentioned; but received for answer from one of his Clerks that Mr. Blount was so ill of a Fever as not to be able to write. After some time Mr. Blount informed me that he was recovering and hoped to be able to undertake the Journey in a few days, but he wished me in the meanwhile to proceed to Annapolis, with such papers and other information respecting the State of our Commerce as I had been able to Collect, for I had, with some trouble, endeavored to Collect a full account of our Exports by which the relative Importance of our Commerce might in some measure be ascertained; such information might be of use in the Deliberations of the Commissioners, though I could have no Vote before the Arrival of my Colleague. On the Seventh of September I arrived at Norfolk from whence the Baltimore Packet was ready to Sail, but stormy weather came on by which she was detained some Days and once put back after she had sailed; hence, I did not arrive at Annapolis till after the 14th, on which the Convention rose. Had they proceeded to Business I should have been in Time. It was known that other States were on the Road for Annapolis but the Commissioners first Assembled have given sufficient reasons for not sitting longer.

I was necessarily absent from home in going, in waiting for a passage homeward and in returning 23 days, during that time it appears from my Cash Account that I expended £35 12/, including the postage of Letters and other papers respecting the Convention. I took a separate Account of my expences during the fortnight that

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I was detained to the Northward by other Attentions. The Draft you was pleased to forward me for £100 was laid out in the purchase of Tobacco which I shipped to Philadelphia. Whenever I shall have received the Account of Sales I shall return the Balance into the Treasury unless you are pleased to direct otherwise. As I accepted of this appointment from a Zealous desire to promote the Mercantile interest of this State, I should on the same principles, have attempted faithfully to discharge the Duties of the Appointment though they had been much more Arduous, without the Expectation of Reward. With those Sentiments you will do me the justice to believe that I sincerely regret that nothing has been effected at the proposed meeting, and that while the United States are wasting by the most destructive Commerce no progress is made towards safety or system.

I have the Honor to be,
With the Greatest consideration, Sir,
Your most obedient,
And very humble Servant,