Letter from Charles Johnson to Richard Caswell
Johnson, Charles, d. 1802
Volume 18, Pages 773-775
HON. CHARLES JOHNSON'S RESIGNATION AS A DELEGATE IN CONGRESS.
[From Executive Letter Book.]
Edenton, 28th October, 1786.
In my Letter of the 14th January last, I had the Honor of informing your Excellency that as the General Assembly had again Elected me a Delegate to Congress, altho' no provision of Specie had been made, nor attention paid to my Notification in a former Letter to your Excellency on that head, yet a sense of duty to the State & of gratitude for the unmerited, unsolicited honors conferred upon me, induced me to Resolve to proceed to Congress under all the disadvantages and difficulties I should inevitably meet with in converting paper money to Specie, the most Eligible manner of doing which I took the Liberty of pointing out to your Excellency, as well
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as the necessity of supplying me immediately with a warrant for my Salary for Six Months, the shortest period that could be supposed for the residence of a Delegate in Congress; but to my great surprise and no less mortification, this request which appeared to me so very reasonable, your Excellency in your Letter of the 22nd of February thought fit to refuse by the advice of your Honorable Council. I restrict myself from making any other observation on this matter than that had my request been complied with I could have established the funds necessary for my Support; with tho' a considerable loss (which I would willingly have sustained) not an enormous one; as it was not granted the Opportunity was lost, for before I could obtain a Warrant in consequence of your Excellency's Letter of the 9th April in which you offered to furnish me with one, & could have procured money for it, the price of Tobacco had risen so high here owing to the price given by the Public Commissioners & the price to the Northward fell so much that the Sum that could have been realized in Specie from the paper money allowance would have been altogether inadequate to my Support as a Delegate in Congress, and as I did not choose to stand charged on the Comptroller's Book with a larger Nominal Sum which to apply to the purposes for which it would be granted must have sunk two-thirds of its value, I declined applying again to your Excellency for a Warrant, and, as the only expedient left, adopted the measure of purchasing and shipping Tobacco on my own Account intending to depend on the Assembly for reimbursements of the loss I should sustain; but from the experiment I made of a few Hogsheads, what with the lowness of the Market, the very indifferent quality of the tobacco passed at our Inspections and the warehouse damage it sustained, the sum produced was so trifling as would scarcely appear credible & compelled me to relinquish the measure.
From these circumstances which I beg your Excellency to excuse me for troubling you with, I flatter myself it will appear that neither want of respect for the appointment or a proper sense of the favors the Legislature have conferred on me nor of disinclination to serve the State can be laid to my charge, but finding it impracticable to execute the Office to which I have had the honor to be elected I am under the Necessity of resigning it and request your
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Excellency to accept of this as my Resignation, and to Acquaint the Assembly therewith.
I have the honor to be,
With perfect Respect,
Most Obedient humble Servt.,