May it please your Excellency: and Honours;
The iron works in Chatham County having already been attended with considerable expense to the public, without the least prospect of future advantage, from the difficulty of getting hearth-stones that will stand the extreme heat of the Furnace, and also from the great scarcity of water in the summer months, has induced Mr. Allston, the other Commissioner, and myself, to permit Mr. Wilcox to take possession of the works and negroes till the next session of the Assembly, upon his agreeing to pay whatever price the public may think proper to charge him for the hire of the hands and for the pig metal that has been cast. And as I believe it will be the intention of the Legislature to let Mr. Wilcox again have the works, I thought it most prudent not to run the public to any further expense, as there was so little probability of reaping any benefit by it. I hope this will be agreeable and can assure your Excellency and honours that the other commissioner and myself spared no pains to make the works turn out to advantage: am sorry to say without success. I have discharged and paid off the workmen who came from the No'ward.