From Joseph Howell, Jr.1
Department of War
Jany 26. 1795
Some of the officers of the army have applied to me for payment of rations retain’d under the contract of William Duer,2 having due bills given by his agents for the same. Several of those kind of bills were by your direction deposited in this office the property of other persons. I therefore take the liberty to request information, whether those claims are to be discharged by the United States, & if so in what manner. I am inform’d that in the Settlement of Mr. Duer’s accounts only the issue of one ration of officers from 1st Octo. 4 Nov 91 was admitted to his credit—those bills embrace as far as I have been able to examine the residue of each grade of officers from 19 Octo. to 9 Novr. 91—a general order having been issued that the officers should draw only one ration for that period.
I am with great respect Sir your obedt Servt.
Alexr. Hamilton Esqr
Secty of the Treasy
ADfS. RG 94, Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, Letters sent by Joseph Howell and William Simmons, January–April, 1795, National Archives.
1. Howell had been appointed accountant to the War Department on May 8, 1792 (Executive Journal, I description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate (Washington, 1828), I. description ends , 124). He resigned from that position on April 10, 1795 (RG 217, Miscellaneous Treasury Accounts, 1790–1894, Account No. 7422, National Archives).
2. For background on Duer’s contract with the Army, see “Contract for Army Rations,” October 28, 1790 (PAH description begins Harold C. Syrett, ed., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton (New York and London, 1961–1987). description ends , VII, 127); H to Duer, April 7, 1791, note 2 (PAH description begins Harold C. Syrett, ed., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton (New York and London, 1961–1987). description ends , VIII, 246–47); Joseph Nourse to H, May 1, 1792 (PAH description begins Harold C. Syrett, ed., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton (New York and London, 1961–1987). description ends , XI, 350–51).