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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Samuel Johnston to James White
Johnston, Samuel, 1733-1816
May 08, 1788
Volume 21, Pages 469-470

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Edenton, 8th May, 1788.


I am this day favoured with your letter of the 20th of April and am much obliged to you for the important & interesting intelligence contained in it.

I am particularly obliged to you for your attention to the affairs of the Citizens on our Western Frontier. It will be some satisfaction to them to know the Sentiments of the Spanish Minister, & though you know it has been my wish to Cede that Country to Congress yet as that measure was afterwards done away I shall do everything in my power to save the Interest of that people & to keep them in good humor for I perfectly agree with you that people situated so great a distance from the seat of the public offices must be Governed more by securing their Attachments by kind offices than by any exertions of force.

It gives me pain that in our present distressed situation there are apprehensions of being pressed with demands which we are altogether unable to comply with, a Circumstance which the Minister of France cannot have so far deviated from his former Magnanimity as to be over strenuous on that subject at this moment, when the United States are so much embarrassed by the peculiar situation of their affairs.

I have been for some time past endeavouring to investigate the State of the Demand of the Government of Martinique against this State but have not hitherto succeded. I shall persevere however in this Business till I can obtain a true state of that affair which I will

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then immediately communicate to the Consul of France and do my best endeavours to give satisfaction on that subject.

It is with great concern that I see the difficulties which the Delegates of Congress from this State sustain in Negotiating an Exchange of the Paper Medium so as to afford them a decent support, & should be happy to have it in my power to afford them relief: should the new form of Government take place the evil will be removed otherwise it is to be hoped that the General Assembly will provide a remedy so that the minds of the Delegates may be freed from every kind of embarrassment other than what arises from the Duties of their office. Mr. Swann has been some time delayed in procuring funds for his support. He informs me that he has succeeded so as to enable him to come forward in a few days to your relief. Permit me to recommend him to your good offices, he appears to be a Young Gentleman of a liberal mind and promises to be a useful member of Society.

The Several Counties in this State have elected Members to represent them in Convention except in the County of Dobbs where unfortunately a Riot took place at the time when the Sheriff was counting the Suffrages, by which means the Ballots were destroyed & he had it not in his power to decide who had a Majority of Votes. I hope we shall still fall upon some means to procure a Representation from that County.

You have no doubt heard of the unfortunate affray which happened between Colonel Tipton & Mr. Sevier; I have reason to hope that no further mischief will take place in that manner and that the people will no longer be duped by the artifices of a man who by his folly and presumption has reduced his affairs to so desperate a situation that it is not convenient for him to live under any wholesome & well Regulated Government. I shall be happy at all times to hear from you & Remain,

Yours, &c., &c.,