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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Timothy Bloodworth to Alexander Martin
Bloodworth, Timothy, 1736-1814
June 19, 1790
Volume 22, Pages 799-800

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New York, June 19th, 1790.

Dear Sir:—

Your favor of the 28th of May came safe to hand. Your charges of negligence are justly founded, whose origin was inattention and not disrespect, together with a firm persuasion that you received every necessary information from the Senators, whose duty compels them to correspond with the Executive, and the Representatives more particularly with their constituents. Shall, notwithstanding, at all times be happy to correspond. With respect to business of the Union, it lies in such broken fragments that I am not able to give you satisfactory information. When I took my seat on the 6th April, the House was engaged in the assumption of the States’ debts, and the delegation of North Carolina (as you have heard) gave a turn to the business, but the advocates for the measure are not easily beat from their ground; although twice defeated, they still return to the charge, in hopes of success from perseverance. How the matter will end remains uncertain. A bill for that purpose is now in the order of the day, and has been for some time past, but I presume they are apprehensive of an unfavorable decision is the reason they permit it to rest for better prospects. The bill for funding the debts of the Union is now before the Senate, and is likely to undergo some alterations; in consequence of which the certificates have fell six pence in the pound among the speculators, who are continually watching our motions. The bills for establishing post offices and post roads, and for excises, are now in their passage. The latter, I fear, will prove obnoxious in the extreme to the Southern States. Our delegates have given it opposition, and will, I presume, give it their negative. We have succeeded so far as to excuse from the tax all stills under 35 gallons. Those above are to pay 60 cents per gallon, including the cap, or 9 cents per gallon for all the spirits distilled, given on oath. Several acts of lesser moment have passed, the particulars I forbear to mention. The subject of removal has consumed much time and is not yet finished. The House of Representatives has resolved to hold the next session at Baltimore, but the Senate has postponed the consideration until Monday week, and I find it is in contemplation to fix the permanent seat at the Potomac, and the temporary residence at Philadelphia. The dignity of stations are not sufficient to exempt mankind from human

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foibles. Party spirits prevail and private interest is pursued in the grand council of the nation. The appointments for the Western Territory are as follows, viz.:

Colonel Blount, Governor-General; with Secretary Campbell and Mr. Nairy, Judges; the State’s Attorney not yet appointed.

For North Carolina—Colonel Davie, judge; John Sitgreaves, attorney, and John Skinner, marshal.

Rhode Island has adopted the Constitution, and their Senators are daily expected. Vermont only remains to complete the Union. It was expected that the House would rise in June, but I am apprehensive it will not be the case, if we finish the business. The increased number of petitions and remonstrances consume much time. Congress has resolved that the general government began its operation on the 4th March, and the time of the present sitting members will expire next March. By this resolution they have continued the seats of some members five months beyond the limits of the Constitution, and others are curtailed twelve months. North Carolina must have an election before next March, or have no representation. I had little expectation of the House deciding on a Constitutional question at this early period, when several States were pressing for amendments in that particular article. There are little expectation of any amendments taking place. The House refused to appoint a committee to consider the amendments proposed by North Carolina. A very large majority was oposed to the measure. We shall bring it before the House once more and endeavor to obtain the ayes and noes on the question. Mr. Sevier took his seat the day before I received your favor. I presume you have heard of the death of Colonel Bland, from Virginia. The spring has been sickly, but at present the complaints are not frequent.

With sentiments of sincere esteem, I remain, dear sir,
Your most obedient and very humble servant,