The public business makes slow advances, owing principally to an unhappy division between the Eastern and Southern Delegates on a treaty with Spain. The particulars are confined to the Cabinet. I am exceedingly anxious to have your opinion on the subject, and shall endeavor to obtain leave for that purpose. The opposition is like to become serious. Both appear firm and immovable, and seven States seem determined to carry on the business, whilst the five Southern States oppose with a uniform exertion. How the matter will terminate is quite uncertain. Two States have left Congress—Rhode Island and New Hampshire. All other business seems to be out of vein at present.
Prior to this unhappy dispute, the additional powers to the Confederation was reported by the Grand Committee, which now appear out of view, and some gentlemen urge the measure will be useless, if the present plan is carried into execution, as it will introduce a necessity for a different government. If seven States can carry on a treaty, or, in other words, will persist in the measure, it follows, of course, that the Confederated compact is no more than a rope of
We have had a very moderate summer, and the people in general are healthy.
It gives me pain to mention to your Excellency my personal disadvantages. The naval stores which I brought with me remain unsold, nor do I see the least probability of disposing of it for money. A method here prevails for bartering for that article, which does not answer my purpose. Have been exceeding anxious for the return of Colonel Blount, at which period I was desirous to return, as the State would be represented. My colleague and myself have not been absent one hour at any one time since we took our seats in Congress. Hope your Excellency will suffer me to return this fall, that I may have it in my power to make better preparation against the ensuing spring. I remain, with sentiments of real esteem,