James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Benjamin Henry Latrobe, 8 October 1813

From Benjamin Henry Latrobe

1813. Octr. 8th dated Septr. 20th. 1813 Washington


I beg leave to submit to you by the hands of Mr Lewis Deblois an account of the expenditure of the balance of Monies in my hands as agent of the fund for furnishing the Presidents House—of monies recieved by sales at Auction of old Furniture—And of payments made by me beyond the amount received—excepting the article of James & Hugh Finlay’s Account which could not be brought into my last settlement for want of a Voucher for freight and insurance.1 The account consists of expenditures arising from the indispensible course of domestic occurrences. I request the Sanction of your approbation to this Acct., And also that you will be pleased to direct my advances to be paid out of the appropriation made at the last Session.2 I have the honor to be with high respect yr. ob. Servant

B Henry Latrobe
Late Agent of the
Presidents fund for furniture

FC (MdHi: Latrobe Letterbooks).

1No account dated in the fall of 1813 and matching Latrobe’s description here has been found. Records have survived, however, of an account submitted by Latrobe for “furniture provided for the President’s house,” dated 10 Mar. 1813, which listed his expenses, including sums paid to “Melinda, semptress” and to others for such items as “chairs & sofas,” “plate,” “crockery & glass,” “scythes &c,” and “hauling.” The statement also detailed payments received, one of which was the “proceeds of furniture sold by Andrews & Jones Auctioneers by order of the President.” JM signed this account and noted that it was “Approved.” Among the accompanying papers is an insurance certificate granted to John and Hugh Finlay, 20 Sept. 1809, covering the cargo of the sloop Olive Branch on a voyage from Baltimore to Georgetown (DNA: RG 217, First Auditor’s Accounts, No. 28,634).

2Latrobe referred to “An Act to provide for the accommodation of the household of the President,” 26 July 1813, which allocated $14,000 plus the proceeds of the sale of old furniture to be spent at JM’s discretion (U.S. Statutes at Large description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America … (17 vols.; Boston, 1848–73). description ends , 3:48).

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