From Robert Morris1
[Philadelphia] Jany 27. 1795
You will See by the enclosed Note of Mr John Ross, the pointed terms in which he calls for my aid in accomplishing the Settlement of his Accounts with the U S.2 If any thing I can say to you will add Weight to his application, I beg you will consider it as said. Mr Ross certainly executed the Public Business well, his Shipments were most useful when they arrived & the Public were great Gainers by his transactions.
I am most sincerely Yrs
LC, Robert Morris Papers, Library of Congress.
1. Morris, who had been a partner in the Philadelphia mercantile firm of Willing, Morris, and Company, had served in the Continental Congress from 1775 to 1778, in the Provincial Assembly from 1775 to 1776, and in the Pennsylvania legislature from 1778 to 1779, 1780 to 1781, and 1785 to 1787. From July, 1781, to November, 1784, he held the office of Superintendent of Finance. He was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in 1787, and a United States Senator from 1789 to 1795. By 1795 he was involved in numerous and complicated land speculations, which led to his imprisonment for debt in February, 1798.
2. During the American Revolution Ross was commissioned by the Secret Committee of the Continental Congress, which had been formed for the purpose of importing supplies for the Continental troops, to purchase goods in France. Morris was a member of the Secret Committee. On February 22, 1793, the House of Representatives received “a memorial of John Ross, of the City of Philadelphia, merchant … praying that a claim for a balance due to the memorialist by the United States, for sundry purchases of merchandise in Europe, on commission, and for which he rendered an account to the late Congress, in the month of January, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-three….” On March 1, 1793, Ross’s memorial was referred to H (Journal of the House description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States (Washington, 1826), I, II, III, IV. description ends , I, 712, 725). H did not report on Ross’s petition. See H to Frederick A. C. Muhlenberg, January 5, 1795.