George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Joachim Jacob Brandt, 2 June 1792

From Joachim Jacob Brandt

Philada, June 2d, 1792


The Legislature of the Union during their last sitting passed two Acts (which you were pleased to approve) for affording relief to persons disabled in the service of the United States in the War with Great Britain a defect in the first respecting its operation was the cause why a second or Act Supplementary was enacted1 & therefore it is that being One of the description considered in the Acts alluded as well as Numbers of others who are at present in a situation little above want; that is a state of dependance and uncertainty. that I now humbly presume to address you that you may be pleased to point out some mode by which we may hope for a speedy relief and that we may be informed thereof as conveniently as may be2 and which consistent with your Characteristic goodness and Justice will be affording relief to the distressed; and that you may continue to preside over us long and with your usual Philanthropy We humbly & sincerely pray.

Signed in behalf of himself & divers others

Joachim Jacob Brandt

ALS, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters.

1Brandt is referring to “An Act to provide for the settlement of the claims of widows and orphans, barred by the limitations heretofore established, and to regulate the claims to invalid pensions” of 23 Mar. and “An Act providing for the settlement of the claims of persons under particular circumstances, barred by the limitations heretofore established” of 27 Mar. 1792 (see Annals of Congress description begins Joseph Gales, Sr., comp. The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States; with an Appendix, Containing Important State Papers and Public Documents, and All the Laws of a Public Nature. 42 vols. Washington, D.C., 1834–56. description ends , 2d Cong., 1st sess., 1346–49).

2The claims act of 23 Mar. 1792 provided that every applicant for a pension attend “the Circuit Court of the district in which they respectively reside . . . in person, except where it shall be certified by two magistrates that he is unable to do so,” for its evaluation of the merits of their case. The court, “in case in their opinion the applicant should be put on the pension list,” would then transmit its certification to the secretary of war for his review. In those “districts wherein a Circuit Court is not directed by law to be holden, the Judge of the District Court shall be, and he hereby is, authorized to exercise all the powers given by this act to the respective Circuit Courts. And it shall be the duty of the Judges of the Circuit Courts, respectively, during the term of two years from the passing of this act, to remain at the places where the said Courts shall be holden five days at the least, from the time of opening the sessions thereof, that persons disabled as aforesaid may have full opportunity to make their application for the relief proposed by this act” (ibid., 1347). For the judicial outcry against the provisions of this act, see Caleb Brewster to GW, 15 Mar., n.4, Edmund Randolph to GW, 5 April, U.S. Circuit Court Judges for N.Y. to GW, 10 April, and enclosure, GW to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, 16, 21 April, U.S. Circuit Court Judges for Pa. to GW, 18 April, and James Iredell and John Sitgreaves to GW, 8 June, and note 6. Sections 2–4 of the act of 23 Mar. were repealed on 28 Feb. 1793 by “An Act to regulate the claims to Invalid Pensions” (ibid., 1436–37). No reply from GW to Brandt has been found.

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