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Letter from Benjamin Hawkins to Richard Caswell
Hawkins, Benjamin, 1754-1816
July 10, 1787
Volume 20, Pages 735-736

(From Executive Letter Book.)

New York, the 10th July, 1787.

Dear Sir:

I wrote your Excellency in June and informed you of my intention to return to North Carolina immediately on the arrival of Mr. Burton, and accordingly I set out as early as practicable by the way of Philadelphia. Mr. Burton & Mr. Ashe having thought proper to return to North Carolina, for reasons which they did assign to you, the State for a short period was unrepresented.

It being of great importance to the Union at this time particularly, that Congress should be and Continue in Session, His Excellency Richard Caswell, the Members present and the Secretary wrote after me and Mr. Blount & requested our return. The Letters reached me on the eve of my departure for Virginia, and altho’ I had a scanty means of support, having not drawn on the public resources and my own being nearly exhausted, yet I determined to return, induced thereto in a great measure from a hope of being able to procure some aid from the Union towards the protection of our Western Citizens and of securing and preserving our right to the free and common use of the Navigation of the Mississippi.

The first we find to be impracticable for the want of information, and our having but seven States represented in Congress. But the latter which is very interesting to the Western Citizens of the Southern States if it regards this peace and welfare, has at length from a variety of Circumstances unnecessary, as well perhaps as improper to relate, been put in a better situation than heretofore. As soon as another State shall arrive and in the expectation of the return of Mr. Ashe and Mr. Burton agreeable with their promise, I shall set

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out again for North Carolina & Mr. Blount to the Convention in Philadelphia.

The Secretary for Foreign Officers will send you some Information from Mr. Adams of an attempt to Counterfeit our Currency in Great Britain. With that Kingdom we have no prospect of a Commercial Treaty. It may be deemed unnecessary & important in me to say (although I concur in opinion with the most respectable of our Citizens) that it is indisputably necessary for the well being of the Southern States that they should keep up respectable representatives in Congress until their Rights are perfectly Secured.

I have the honor to be,
With great & sincere Esteem, Dear Sir,
Your Excellency’s most Obedt. & Humble Servt.,