From Robert Morris
Office of Finance [Philadelphia] 12 July 1782.
I inclose you the Copy of my circular Letter to the several States of the twenty fifth of July 1781.1 The Answers I have received have been very few and very short of the Objects so that I have not been able to Act as I wished for want of necessary Information.2 I must beg you to take the most speedy and effectual Means in your Power to enable me to form a proper Judgment on such of the Subjects referred to as the actual State of Things renders it important to know.
I am Sir your most obedient and humble Servant
LC, Robert Morris Papers, Library of Congress.
1. In a circular letter addressed to the governors of the several states on July 25, 1781, Morris discussed the accounts outstanding between the states and the Continental government. The accounts were based on the books of the Treasury of the United States which had been so carelessly kept that Morris had to request each state to supply him with the amount of money, supply, transportation, and other services furnished the Confederation. Morris also requested copies of the laws of each state relating to the collection of taxes and information on the execution of such laws. In addition, he wished to know the amount and character of paper currencies still circulating as well as “what Monies are in your Treasury and what Sums you expect to have there, as also the Times by which they must probably be brought in.” Morris explained that he intended to settle all outstanding accounts with the states in an equitable manner (Robert Morris Papers, Library of Congress).
2. The governors of the states apparently considered the information requested by Morris unwarranted by the duties of his office. The answers of those who replied were “evasive and unsatisfactory.” See Ellis P. Oberholtzer, Robert Morris (New York, 1903), 123.