Report on Memorial from Merchants of Hamburg
MS (NA: PCC, No. 41, X, 348).
On 20 December 1782 Caspar Voght and Company of the “neutral free and imperial City” of Hamburg, “happily situated upon the River Elbe,” addressed a memorial to “His Excellency the President, and the Honorable Members of the Congress of the United States of North America, in Council assembled,” asking that the attention of American merchants be drawn to the advantages of selling their exports and purchasing manufactured goods in Hamburg. A printed two-page “Specification of Goods, more profitably to be drawn from Hamburg then [sic] from any other Market” accompanied the memorial. Voght and Company, after stating that Peter Penet, “Agent for Virginia,” who had visited Hamburg, had suggested the memorial, brought it to a close with the words: “We propose, Gentlemen, sending directly an able and intelligent Person to deliver You the Samples &c. and also to receive Your Orders; in case You should please to condescend to the granting us any.” For Penet, see Delegates to Gálvez, 4 May, ed. n.; Delegates to Harrison, 6 May 1783, and n. 4.
Charles Thomson’s docket of the memorial reads: “Meml. Caspar Voght & Co 20 Decr. 1782. July 26.—to lie on the table” (NA: PCC, No. 41, X, 345–48). Congress referred the memorial to the committee of the week, appointed on 23 July and consisting of JM, chairman, David Howell (R.I.), and Silas Condict (N.J.) (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XXIV, 446). JM wrote the report on the docket page of the memorial.
[26 July 1783]
Memorial from of Hamburg enumerating and recommending the manufactures &c of that place, and praying that they may have the countenance of Congress.
The Committee of the week report that the Memorial lie on the table.1
1. On 18 December 1783 Congress declined to accede to Penet’s recommendation that Voght be appointed consul of the United States at Hamburg (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XXV, 757–58, 816). See also Burnett, Letters description begins Edmund C. Burnett, ed., Letters of Members of the Continental Congress (8 vols.; Washington, 1921–36). description ends , VII, 273, 361, and n. 3. Relations such as Voght and Penet had proposed were not given an official footing until 2 June 1828, when ratifications of a “Convention of Friendship, Commerce, and Navigation” were exchanged at Washington between the United States and the “Free Hanseatic Republics of Lübeck, Bremen, and Hamburg” (Hunter Miller, ed., Treaties and Other International Acts, III, 387–404).