On the 15th of May Mr. Cocke arrived here in the Character of Agent, for the inhabitants of the Counties of Washington, Greene & Sullivan whom it appears have declared themselves an Independent State by the Title of “The State of Franklin.” The day following he presented to the President of Congress a Memorial from the Assembly of That State praying Congress to accept the cession of North Carolina and to admit them into the Union. The Memorial was laid before Congress, and read but no order either moved or taken, on it; a Copy of the Memorial I enclose to your Excellency.
A Day or two after a motion was made by a Delegate from Massachusetts, that the Acts of the General Assembly of the State of No. Carolina, granting and repealing the Cession, should be referred to a Committee in order that they might report whether it had, or had not a right to accept the Cession or whether it was not still binding upon the State, notwithstanding the repealing Act. They were accordingly committed and a report made onInterested Motives they would condemn. A copy of the report and proceedings thereon I enclose to your Excellency. The Report does not do much Credit to the abilities of the Gentlemen who drew it, tho' it convinces me that my opinion is right “that they are willing to have the Lands on any terms,” as the latter clause, which is the only one agreed to, is an absolute contradiction to every other part of it.
I enclose your Excellency a note I received from Mr. de Marbois respecting the debt due by the State to the Government of Martinique.
I forward to your Excellency the Ordinance for ascertaining the mode of disposing of the Lands in the Western Territory. In my opinion it never will aswer the end proposed for before this formal and hitherto unheard of plan can be carried into execution the Lands will be possessed by persons who have already and are daily crossing the Ohio in great numbers, so as to put the United States to more expence to dispossess them than the soil will afterwards sell for.
The State of South Carolina have applied to Congress, for a Fœderal Court to determine the dispute about Jurisdiction and Territory subsisting between them and the State of Georgia. They claim all the Territory lying to the Northward of a due west line to be drawn from what they call the head of the River Savannah (that is where the Tugelo and Kiowee join, where it takes the name of Savannah) to the Mississippi and to the South of our line: and all the territory lying to the South of the Altamaha and a due West line to
North Carolina has not been represented since Dr. Williamson's time expired nor do I hear any acco'ts of the other delegates coming. I shall leave this city in a few days to return home.
The requisition from the present year is not made, and several other important matters remain to be acted on from which I am led to believe that Congress will not have a recess this summer.