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Letter from Archibald Maclaine to George Hooper
Maclaine, Archibald, 1728-1790
August 01, 1783
Volume 16, Pages 979-980


1st September, 1783.

My Dear Sir:

Understanding that Capt. Read from Philadelphia, was to sail for Charlestown with the turn of the tide, I wrote you a few hasty lines by him, & inclosed a copy of the Governor’s certificate. I am not by any means satisfied with this certificate, though possibly it may answer your purpose; not that I should have had any objection to a fair statement of all the facts, if those facts and the reasons upon which they took place, had been made known at the same time.

What can have been suggested to the Governor against your brother Thomas, I cannot conceive. I am still more at a loss to know whether any formal complaint has been made against him, or whether what the Governor alludes to is only report. I believe this last must be the case; and therefore I think his Excellency inexcusable in withholding a testimonial of what he knows to be fact, merely upon the strength of an idle report. I shall immediately assail my friend Armstrong, and write to the Governor in very explicit terms; and I shall take care to let him know what mischief his proclamation has done. Until that appeared every man acquiesced under the admission to bail of Messrs. London and Brice. Tomorrow

-------------------- page 980 --------------------
I understand is to determine what the patriots will do. There is then to be a meeting but I understand that there are very few zealots among them. The time is well chosen. This and the following day is the election for a county member in the place of Tom Bloodworth. The candidates, C. Grainger & John James. It has been generally thought that the latter will carry it, though Grainger appears confident, & some people begin to incline to his scale.

I am now firmly persuaded that nothing will quiet the minds of the violent people, who are endeavouring to establish their own power and their own interest, but some act of the Legislature. Almost every person in the executive and judicial departments sneakingly commit the dignity of their respective offices to the mob, although they must be convinced that they are by far the smallest number. No thorough reform in legislation can at present take place but from necessity; & I am convinced that the appearance of the definitive treaty & the evacuation of New York (unless the detention of negroes should be a bar in the way) must bring about a recognition of the articles of peace in every respect. Part of the troops are I understand already left New York, and for such negroes as are already sent off, or will not be delivered, I suppose Congress would accept of an equivalent. I am persuaded the greatest part of the States would if not all. Were this done there could not be any difficulty.

I understand there is to be a complaint lodged next session against two of our Judges (one of them you will not be sorry for) and an attempt made to set aside the whole proceeding of last term at Wilmington. The doubt about the Governor’s future intentions with respect to you, arose from the following paragraph. Any thing in my power (when the minds of the assembly and the people at large are somewhat cooled) consistent with the dignity of the State, shall be at your and his service.

Yours affectionately,