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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Hugh Williamson to Samuel Johnston
Williamson, Hugh, 1735-1819
March 09, 1789
Volume 21, Pages 533-534

[From Executive Letter Book.]

New York, 9th March, 1789.


On the fourth Instant according to appointment, sundry members of the new Congress, viz: eight Senators and fourteen of the House of Representatives, met at the public buildings in this City; since that time the Members of the Old Congress have not attempted to form a House; some of them are in the New Congress, the Remainder are Chiefly gone home.

You will observe by the printed Journal that we have not during the Winter been able to form a Congress of seven States; hence it has not been in my power to bring forward the instructions which the last Assembly of our State were pleased to give their Delegates. It is true that Seven States have been represented, Viz.: New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, &

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South Carolina, but N. Hampshire, New York and New Jersey never chanced to be present together. The attending Members in General to whom I communicated the Report of our Instructions, were of opinion that the request of the State should be Granted, and if I had been so fortunate as to have had a Colleague, I have no doubt but that we should have obtained full permission for the State to have delivered in the remainder of its Claims. Whatever Inclination I may have had Occasionally to borrow a Holyday, I have it in my power to assure you that from the time I received the Instructions of the State, I have not been absent from the Chamber of Congress a single day at the usual time of meeting, lest the forming of a Congress should chance to be prevented, and the Interest of the State suffer by such absence.

In case the Board of Commissioners should refuse to receive any new Vouchers or Claims that may be offered by the State, I shall think it my duty to Petition the New Congress on that subject, but at present I do not think that we shall have any difficulty in having the whole of our Claims examined.

I formerly took the liberty to mention that the Eastern Members had very large Claims for Bounties in the recruiting service. I have lately examined their accounts, and on some future occasion shall give you the particulars.

You will observe that the Members of the New Congress hitherto arrived, are chiefly from the Eastward, and I presume that a House will be formed and several Officers chosen before the Southern Members arrive. This may be the first of the distorted effects to be expected from the Seat of Congress being far distant from the Center of the Union.

I have the honor, &c.,