George Washington to Alexander Hamilton
and Edmund Randolph
Philadelphia, May 14, 1794. “Consider, attentively, the Memorial of Walter Stewart, David H. Conyngham, Joseph Gilpin and J Grubb (with the papers accompanying it, in behalf of themselves & others) and report to me your opinions thereupon.”1
ALS, RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters, 1790–1799, National Archives; LC, RG 59, State Department Correspondence, 1791–1796, National Archives.
1. On April 24, 1794, Jean Antoine Joseph Fauchet had written to General Walter Stewart in reply to a memorial which Stewart had addressed to him. Fauchet recommended that the creditors of France, whom Stewart represented, should place their claims directly before the French government. The claims for supplies amounted to 1,168,608–8–1 and were based on bills drawn by the governments of Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Lucia, and Santo Domingo on the French treasury or on the French consul or minister at Philadelphia (copy, Arch. des Aff. Etr., Corr. Pol, Etats-Unis, Vol. 41). Randolph’s reply to the memorialists on May 22, 1794, reads in part as follows: “You have been informed that the President of the United States referred your memorial concerning the French West India Bills to me; and you will be pleased to recollect, that you expressed yourselves to be satisfied with the proposition, which I made to you, of charging our minister in France to demand your debt from the French government. Yesterday I saw Mr. Fauchet; and he has repeated to me the assurances, contained in his answer to you. Now the only thing remaining is to furnish me with the necessary documents, that I may immediately forward them …” (LC, RG 59, Domestic Letters of the Department of State, Vol. 6, January 2-June 26, 1794, National Archives).
On June 16, 1794, Fauchet wrote to Randolph stating that in accordance with the assurances which he had given to Stewart, he had sent a letter to his government giving his support to the claims of the creditors (LS, Arch. des Aff. Etr., Corr. Pol., Etats-Unis description begins Transcripts or photostats from the French Foreign Office deposited in the Library of Congress. description ends , Vol. 41). On September 2, 1794, James Monroe, United States Minister at Paris, presented the claims of these creditors as the last in a series of demands upon the French government (ALS, Arch des Aff. Etr., Corr. Pol., Etats-Unis, Vol. 41). No final action appears to have been taken on the matter at that time, although the Committee of Public Safety did prepare a report on Monroe’s demands (D, Arch. des Aff. Etr., Corr. Pol., Etats-Unis description begins Transcripts or photostats from the French Foreign Office deposited in the Library of Congress. description ends , Vol. 41). In 1797 the claims were among those presented by Fulwar Skipwith, consul general of the United States at Paris (ASP description begins American State Papers, Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States (Washington, 1832–1861). description ends , Foreign Relations, I, 753–56).