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Letter from Hugh Williamson to Alexander Martin
Williamson, Hugh, 1735-1819
June 12, 1790
Volume 22, Pages 797-798


New York, 12th June, 1790.

Dear Sir:—

Yours of 25th May came to hand two days ago. The system for getting the accounts of the several States with the United

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States is not hitherto agreed to in Congress. The committee reported; the report was taken up and some days spent in considering and modifying it; the whole is re-committed or referred to a select committee, of which I again happen to be a member. We are again ready to report, and hope the system will in a few days be passed to the Senate. According to this plan, two other commissioners are to be appointed, who doubtless will not be ready for some time to enter on the duties of their office. In the meanwhile, nothing will be done effectually by the others. During this interval I expect to have time to come to the State for papers respecting such other expenses not hitherto charged as we may be at liberty by the ordinance to charge. I have duly attended to the mode in which other States have raised their charges, and hope to profit by their example in being able to state good and reasonable charges to the amount of near half a million dollars above what we have hitherto charged. If a clerk should be wanted, it cannot happen before September next. Nothing that I can do myself shall be referred to other people. The business is too important to be submitted to substitutes in the great outlines of it.

The address of the President is simply the President of the United States. Neither Senators nor Representatives have any legal titles.

A bill was sent from the Senate respecting the North Carolina cession, and the names of our Senators who had executed the conveyance were inserted with the prefix of the Honourable, but the appendage was struck off in our House. A law lately passed respecting de Steuben, in which we would not agree to call him the Baron, for we hold it that no man in our lands shall have a title, since the President has none. This rule, however, does not extend to common parlance or common writing, as far as I have observed.

I wish our State was safely delivered of the Martinique business which has given us so much trouble.

I am, dear sir, with the utmost respect,
Your most obedient servant,
His Excellency Alex. Martin.