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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from John Baptist Ashe to Richard Caswell
Ashe, John Baptista, 1748-1802
August 16, 1787
Volume 20, Pages 761-762


New York, 16th August, 1787.

Richard Caswell, Esquire:

I have the honor this day to receive your Excellency’s favour of the 11th of July, enclosing a receipt of Mr. Robert Stewart’s to Mr. Whitaker for 110,104 lbs. of Tobacco, which I shall pay every necessary attention to, also a Copy of your Letter of the 15th of Jan’y last, to the Delegation, requiring their attention towards procuring the Muster Rolls of the line of our State, or duplicates of them, and forwarding of them to you; rest assured Sir, in this we have not been

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inattentive, early in March we procured an Order of Congress directing the Secretary at war to furnish us with Duplicates, but the Pay Master with his principal Clerk, going shortly after to Virginia on public business, and who has not yet returned has been the cause (and is yet) of our not obtaining them, he is hourly expected, when the Secretary promises them without delay.

Col. Blount and myself brought forward a Resolution, purporting Congress’s disavowal of such part of the Hopewell Treaty as ceded certain Territory within the limits of the State to the Indians as hunting grounds, and stated our Claim to the same, which Statement was thought insufficient; and as the Boundary of a State was of a very weighty and consequential nature, we concluded it best to let the business rest there until we could procure every document necessary to support our Claim, to which end I will be Obliged to your Excellency to procure (from among the old Council papers where I presume it was lodged) and send forward those temporary lines, intended and confirmed by the Commissioners appointed by the Legislatures of North & South Carolina, Agreeable to the Order of the late King George the 2nd, which are the lines peremptorily claimed in our bill of rights as our Southern Boundary, and from which we cannot vary; Congress by this Treaty and the application of North Carolina must be thrown under some embarrassment, for its Obvious they cannot ratify an Act so flagrantly abusive in its consequences, if enforced, also in express words contrary to the Confederation and our Bill of rights; and to disavow a Compact or part of a Compact entered into by their Servants, they may consider as impolitic and improper. I will further trouble your Excellency, with sending forward to the Delegation a Resolution of the last Assemblies expressive of their Opinion of the Indian Treaty, and giving some direction to their Delegates. I am and have been here alone for some time, have expected Mr. Burton to arrive every hour for three weeks past. I now much despair of his coming on at all; should he not Mr. Blount promises me he will return at the rising of the Convention, when we hope to have a very full Congress. Hoping your Excellency enjoys your health, I beg leave to remain, with Sentiments of respect,

Your Excellency’s very Obedient & very Humble Servt.,