From Benjamin Hawkins1
Senate Chamber [Philadelphia] 26 novr. 1791
The legislature of North Carolina will soon be in Session,2 and I think it of considerable importance, that they should be informed of the Reasons Why you have refused to that State, the right, claimed by their executive, to subscribe their certificates or notes, issued prior to the first of January 1790, and received into the treasury.3 I therefore request the favour of you to give me such information on this subject as you may judge proper.
I request the favour also of your opinion on the 17 sec. of the act making provision for the debt of the United States.4 That you may clearly comprehend my object in this request, I will state the following Quere; Is the State of North Carolina entitled to receive from the United States, an interest centum per annum, upon so much of the sum, as shall not have been subscribed, equal to that which would have accrued on the deficiency, had the same been subscribed, in trust for the non subscribing creditors; to continue until there shall be a settlement of accounts between the United States & the individual States &ca.?
I have the honor to be, very Sincerely Dear Sir your most obt. servt.
Honbe. Alexander Hamilton
Secretary of the Treasury.
Copy, North Carolina Department of Archives and History, Raleigh.
1. Hawkins had been commercial agent of North Carolina and a member of the North Carolina House of Commons during the American Revolution. He served in the Continental Congress during the Confederation and was a member of the North Carolina Ratifying Convention in 1789. In the November, 1789, session of the North Carolina legislature he was elected to the United States Senate.
2. The North Carolina legislature convened on December 5, 1791.
4. For the relevant provisions of Section 17 of “An Act making provision for the (payment of the) Debt of the United States” (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America (Boston, 1845). description ends 138–44 [August 4, 1790]), see Thomas Smith to H, June 6, 1791, note 1.