From Alexander Martin1
North Carolina. June 1st. 1790.
I do myself the Honour to inclose you herewith a bill of exchange payable to me as Governor of the State of North Carolina from Mr Daniel Carthy2 agent for Royal Flint Esquire3 in New york drawn upon that Gentleman for sixteen Hundred Spanish Milled Dollars being his first Bill dated 23d. of April 1790. The second and third of same Tenor & date in my possessetion and not yet forwarded but will be the first opportunity—being for fifty six thousand weight of public Tobacco contracted with Mr. Flint by my predecessor Governor Johnston4 in behalf of the State and late delivered to his said agent. By a Resolution of the General Assembly I beg leave to inform you Sir that the said Monies are to be appropriated to the sole purpose of discharging this State’s Quota of the Interest due on the foreign Debt of the United States.5 Be pleased to place the above when paid to the Credit of this State as aforesaid, and favour me with your advice thereupon.
I have the Honour to be with very great respect Sir your most Obedient Humble Servant
The Honourable Alexander Hamilton Esquire
Secretary of the Treasury of the United States
LC, Governor’s Letter Book, 1789–1791, North Carolina Department of Archives and History, Raleigh, North Carolina.
1. Martin, a member of the colonial Assembly of North Carolina and an officer in the Continental Army, was a member of the state Senate from 1779 to 1782 and from 1785 to 1788, and was governor of North Carolina from 1782 to 1784 and from 1789 to 1792.
2. Carthy was a merchant of New Bern, North Carolina, who was affiliated with several New York City merchants and speculators.
3. Originally a resident of Connecticut, Flint became a prominent New York merchant and speculator in both land and securities. During the American Revolution he was paymaster for Connecticut, and he subsequently served as a commissioner for settling the accounts of the eastern states with the Federal Government. In the seventeen-eighties he had been closely associated in several ventures with William Duer and Jeremiah Wadsworth.
4. Samuel Johnston, a native of Scotland, had been a member of the colonial Assembly of North Carolina, the first four provincial Congresses, the state Senate in 1779, 1783, and 1784, and the Continental Congress from 1780 to 1782. He was elected governor of North Carolina in 1787 and twice re-elected, but he resigned in 1789 to become a United States Senator.
5. See “An Act for Emitting One Hundred Thousand Pounds Paper currency, for the Purposes Therein Expressed” (Walter Clark, ed., The State Records of North Carolina [Goldsboro, North Carolina, 1905], XXIV, 722–25). This act, which was passed on December 29, 1785, opens with the following statement: “Whereas the pressing circumstances of our domestic and foreign debts, evince the necessity of emitting a further sum of one hundred thousand pounds in paper currency, to be applied to discharge a part of the foreign debts due from the United States, and a part of the current expences of the federal government.” In addition this act provided: “And be it further Enacted …, That a further sum, not exceeding thirty-six thousand pounds, shall be paid to such persons as shall be elected by ballot … for the express purpose of purchasing tobacco …; which said tobacco shall be purchased by the … commissioners, and shall be by them shipped to such ports in Europe, or the West Indies, or elsewhere … to such persons from whom bills of exchange or monies may be procured for the payment of the proportionable part of this State, of the debt due from the United States.…” For amendments to this act, see Clark, Records of North Carolina, XXIV, 812–13, 892–93.
For a reference to Flint’s role as purchaser of North Carolina tobacco, see Journal of the House of Commons. State of North Carolina. At a General Assembly, begun and held at Fayetteville, on the Second Day of November, in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eight-nine, and in the Fourteenth Year of the Independence of the United States of America: Being the First Session of this Assembly (Edenton: Printed by Hodge & Wills, Printers to the State, n.d.), 69.