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are in for want of Lead. Should this Army from Portsmouth come forth and become active (and as we have no reason to believe they came here to sleep) our Affairs will Assume a very disagreeable Aspect. The want of Arms and Military stores cannot be compensated by numbers of Militia as that of regular soldiers may.
Very considerable debts of a year or two's standing are due from Colo Finnie and his Deputies. The present Quartermaster refuses to pay them. Colo Finnie gives himself no trouble about them. His former Deputies are anxious to pay them, & we are willing to advance moneys to those Deputies for this purpose if Congress will give us their sanction. You will observe nothing was ever done by our Legislature in consequence of the Resolution of Congress of 26th May 1780. Will you be so good as to obtain the sanction of Congress for our paying these very clamorous & injured creditors through the former Deputy Quarter Master & this to be done immediately. Mr Ross our Commercial Agent, since the shutting up our bay finds it necessary to establish funds as far as possible in Philadelphia from which place all our clothing and necessaries for the Army
We ask the favour of you to be attentive to aid him whenever any remittances of money shall be intended to the Southward to have them to Mr. Ross's Agent there and draw on him for the amount which shall be paid here and to give them every other possible Assistance in that way. He is furnished so largely with Tobacco and State money as to leave no doubt of a want of punctuality.
To what a deplorable State shall we be reduced if the Bay continues blocked up. Commerce both public and private is already taking its turn to Philadelphia, our Continental money is all gone or going off in that channel and no other resources for remittances to that place.
TO REV. JAMES MADISON.
RICHMOND. April 8th, 1781. Sir,-I am authorized to inform you that a good Horse or two shall be furnished you by the public for your Journey. I think it would be unreasonable for us to expect the Pensylvania Commissioners to carry a Time-piece to Fort Pitt unless we should send one to Philadelphia which would be preposterous. I should be very unwilling to admit a Difference to be begun with them on this subject. I think in my letter to you I undertook to assure you that if the Time-piece of the College should receive such an Injury as could be repaired here, it should be repaired at the public Expense, and if it could not be repaired that the Instrument should be replaced as soon as peace shall have opened Importations to us, but indeed if carried in a covered waggon which shall be provided, well packed laid on a feather bed which you may find it necessary to carry for yourself or otherwise on straw or perhaps swung it cannot receive Injury. When it is considered that this Instrument was given by the public, that the loan of it is now asked for a purpose important to the public Interest & in no small degree to Geographical science and that it goes insured by the Public I hope the temporary inconveniences which may result by possibility will not deprive the State of the benefit of it.
You mention in your Letter a Purpose of coming here shortly, let me take the liberty of entreating you to suffer the private Motives which were leading you here to be inforced by the public Object and to come immediately, as I wish much to be quite possessed of the Mode & Circumstances of transacting this Business, before I write to President Reid which I shall accordingly defer in Hopes of seeing you. It will probably shorten the Business if I can inform him what we have in Idea, what we can contribute &c. Besides this there is an other very interesting subject on which some others as well as myself wish a free conference with you. In hopes of seeing you immediately I shall add nothing more than I am with very great Esteem, &c.
TO MAJOR-GENERAL BARON STEUBEN.
V. S. A.
IN COUNCIL April roth, 1781. Sir,—General Scott having obtained permission from the Commandant at Charlestown for the Shipping of Tobacco from this State to that post for the Relief of the Continental troops there of our line, sent me a copy of that Permission taken by his Brigade Major. This paper not being sufficiently authentic to protect from Capture vessels which should go laden with Tobacco. I wrote to Major General Phillips to ask a Passport and received his answer extracts from both of which I now do myself the Honour of enclosing to you. By his letter you will perceive he proposes that the Regulations under which she goes shall be settled between yourself, himself and the British naval Commander here. General Phillips speaks in his letter of permitting a flagg vessel in the singular number. It was not my intention in the Application to fix it to a single vessel. The vessels we have it in our power to employ are so small that one of them laden with Tobacco would carry very little Relief.
It requires 100 Hogsheads of Tobacco a Month to pay off the Virginia line in Charlestown and they are a twelve month in Arrear and the debts that they have contracted are in proportion to those Arrears. We had proposed to send from six to nine hundred Hogsheads of Tobacco. I wish therefore that the
. permission could be regulated rather by the Tonnage than number of vessels.
Another Circumstance of difficulty is introduced by his Letter, which is, that an Officer from Portsmouth must go in the vessel ; to this we have not the least Objection ; but that he might expect to return in her, where as we can only procure vessels which would mean to pursue their mercantile objects to some other Port for Cargoes asking from Charlestown Protection of the flag till they should be clear of their Coasts. Should the restriction to a vessel however be insisted on by the British Commander we should ultimately wish to urge that a Pilot Boat be permitted to attend her for the
of bringing back the Officers who necessarily go to attend to the Delivery of the Tobacco.
As we have every Thing in readiness for sending this Relief to our prisoners and they are in extreme Distress, I will beg the favor of as early an Attention to the settlement of this matter as your business will permit you to bestow.
TO THE FRENCH MINISTER.
V. S. A.
(CHEVALIER DE LA LUZERNE.)
RICHMOND. April 12th, 1781. Sir, I have the honour of your Excellency's favor of March 23d and shall with great pleasure communicate to our Citizens our prospect of Aid from his most Christian majesty to whom we are already so infinitely indebted. I assure you Sir that these prospects are necessary to inspirit them under the present aspect of their Affairs. We suppose one half of the Enemy's force in the United States to be to the Southward. Georgia and South Carolina have been long theirs and North Carolina however disposed convulsed by the ravages of two Armies her
too much engaged in saving their families and Property to go in the American Army. I believe it may therefore with truth be said that the opposition to the two hostile Armies in North