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Letter from Alexander Martin to Edward Carrington
Martin, Alexander, 1740-1807
August 09, 1782
Volume 16, Pages 699-701

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Salisbury, August 9th, 1782.


I am favored with yours of the 24th ultimo, respecting the subject matter of our late correspondence. I mean not to apologize for the want of uniformity in our Legislature with the other States

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in the Union. Their reasons for not adopting the mode of Finance recommended by Mr. Morris I have you Generally in my last.

The executive of the State are restricted by an Act of Assembly for granting specific supplies from whence they cannot deviate, and if no credit will be allowed on our Continental Issues from our Specific Tax, it will be a misfortune that may involve this State in much confusion; as the present as well as the last Act was passed on faith of a Resolution of Congress for allowing certain prices therein mentioned for specific supplies to be furnished to the Army, which they have not yet seen rescinded, & which supplies in the distressed situation of this Country, for want of commerce, they judge might for the present answer in lieu of specie.

These Specifics I am not authorized to sell or dispose of in the manner you propose, but to order them to be delivered for the use of the Army when demanded; or where they can be spared to be bartered with the Merchants for such other articles necessary for them.

Mr. Elliott, your assistant, informs me cannot receive by your instructions any Articles of provisions from the State, but what is purchased as from an individual, and you recommend that the issues for Continental purposes on the old footing be discontinued. The first, the Law prevents a complyance with, as no public provisions can be sold in the manner proposed; but the Letter I shall readily comply with, as soon as Mr. Elliott is able to supply the Troops now raising, with his purchases which he says he will be able to do as soon as a return from you to him and me be had on this subject. A number of Cattle from this State are now on the way to Head Quarters agreeably to General Greene’s requisition. If you cannot receive them but as a purchase you will please to signify the same to me, that I may stop them until I have the sense of the Legislature on this business; as their intentions in short are to receive Congress prices for all their continental supplies. All that is desired is that our Supplies be delivered into the possession of the Continental Quarter Master, and his receipt will be sufficient for the purpose of the State.

I have prohibited all Cattle from being drove out of the State on private account for the present notwithstanding the great distress the Inhabitants are in for want of Specie, that the Southern Army

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might be supplied. I shall still continue the prohibition, even should you not take the State Cattle, that Your Contractors may purchase from individuals as you propose, and I shall endeavor to give all the credit to Mr. Morris’s Notes as you request among the people, and the State supplies will perhaps be ordered to be disposed of by the General Assembly to the best advantage as they will direct; in order to bring into the Continental Treasury the Monies you recommend. I know not how far the requisition as to Waggons and Horses has been complied with, but shall give the orders you require. I shall also obtain a return of all the Waggons and Teams that are procured for the use of the Army, and direct they be sold at Head Quarters on such Terms as you and an agent appointed for the State may agree upon; or otherwise to be returned, you accounting for their service &c., as you propose.

I shall do myself the honor to lay Mr. Morris’ and your letters before the General Assembly, who I am sorry will not convene until the first of November next. In the meanwhile rest assured I shall do every thing as far as my powers extend to promote the General welfare of the army, and aid the performance of the trusts reposed in you in particular.

I am Sir, &c.,