Letter from Archibald Maclaine to George Hooper
Maclaine, Archibald, 1728-1790
Volume 22, Pages 623-625
A. MACLAINE TO MR. GEORGE HOOPER.
Wilmington, 9th April, 1783.
My Dear Sir:
My last was by Lieut. Ivey, which I am satisfied will go safe to your Hands. I now inclose you a Letter which I intended by Hogg (I believe the second I wrote by him); and which was to have gone by Capt. Eve, but the British Cruisers have kept in our Vessels till to-day, where I understand, Addison and some others are gone.
Since Ivey went, Mr. Miller with a letter from you to Kitty and one from Mr. London to me. Let him know that I have scarcely time to write you a few lines, and that I thank him for his Intelligence. Within these two Days past, we have accounts that leave us no room to doubt that there is a peace concluded in Europe. It is said Hostilities ceased there the 3rd of March, that they were to cease here the 3rd of April, and in the East Indies the 3rd of June. That the Articles were signed by the French, British and American Plenipotentiaries, but not by those of Holland or Spain; the reasons of which I cannot learn. That the Bounds of the United States were ascertained, and the fisheries open to both Parties; and that all the property of such as are really British subjects, is to be restored, and debts due by each party paid. The Articles are in Town, but I have not seen them, nor do I know the Date; but if I can procure
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the Mighty favor of seeing them, I shall be more full. I yesterday received Letters from Brice and Burgwyn, the latter an old Date, the former 18th January from St. Croix. Brice speaks of the peace as certain, and says the Articles are signed, but adds no time or place; nor does he say how it is known, but that it is firmly believed. Burgwyn writes in a very desponding tone about the Peace. He is as Shakespeare phrases it, at his old Lunes again. The same timidity which drove him away. Nothing could be more happily timed than the arrival of the news of Peace, as well as the purport of some of the Articles. The restoration of British property will give a fatal Blow to the Western violence. As it proceeded principally from the prospect of grasping great quantities of valuable lands, which had been confiscated for the purpose of enriching individuals, and as that is not only now at an end, but the avaricious will probably be obliged to relinquish their respective prizes, there will not be any object to contend for; and were Burgwyn here, the Bladen Folks would have little left to keep up their Spirits. In truth they may make themselves easy, as it is, for I have no doubt of disappointing them, even if the Assembly should not suspend their Power, which however, I expect will be done. The bearer, Mr. Brison, is Post Master, or deputy post master of the Southern department. You will find out that he is a Countryman of mine, and so forth. He goes as far as Savannah to establish Postmasters and riders, and as an officer of the United States will no doubt meet with Civilities from you. From some expressions which he dropped here, I am inclined to believe he is a flaming Whig; but it may be a question whether his Zeal is accompanied with knowledge. A relation of his a Clergyman in Ireland, and I am told a Man of real understanding, is married to a near relation of mine; but I believe the Post Master knew nothing of it, but what he heard by accident from Mr. Hay. As the Post will go every week between this and Charles town we may hear from each other as frequently as we could wish; but considering the rates of postage, we must not by a public Conveyance send large Packets; and when we have much to say, we have addressed enough to write upon a Sheet of folio post. My Disorder under the prescriptions of Dr. Clay Poole is wearing away apace, and I am now perfectly able to travel, which I shall do in two or three days at furthest, with a parcel of pills, &c., in my pocket, though they stink abominably of Asafœtida. Iredell is not a Member. S.
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Johnston is, much against his inclination; but I do not expect to see him this Session. Little Cuming represents the town of Edenton. Charles Johnson in the Senate for Chowan, a good Member.
I have taken a few minutes to write to London. Brison will delay at George town, so I send this by post; but you shall have no more expensive packets.