George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Alexander Hamilton, 2 July 1792

From Alexander Hamilton

[Philadelphia] 2 July 1792. Encloses “the sketch of a letter to be written by Mr Lear to Mr Langdon.”1


1For the appointment of Woodbury Langdon as one of the commissioners to settle the accounts between the United States and the individual states for the expense of the Revolutionary War, see GW to the U.S. Senate, 23 Dec. 1790. For the acts of Congress regarding the settlement of these accounts, see “An Ordinance for settling the Accounts between the United States and Individual States” of 7 May 1787 (JCC, description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends 32:262–66, 34:502), “An Act for settling the accounts between the United States and individual States” of 5 Aug. 1789, and “An Act to provide more effectually for the settlement of the accounts between the United States and individual States” of 5 Aug. 1790 (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 , 1st Cong., 1st sess., 2214, 2d sess., 2357–59).

Tobias Lear’s letter of 2 July 1792 to Langdon reads: “I am commanded by the President of the United States to inform you, that it is indispensably necessary you should without delay repair to the seat of the Government, to prosecute, jointly with your Colleagues the business of your office as Commissioner. It being of great and real importance that the settlement of the public accounts should be brought to a close as speedily as possible, and, as in order to this, it is essential, that it should be pursued with diligence and perseverance, I am further instructed by the President to say, that if any circumstances in your situation should be incompatible with your immediate and steady attendance it is proper you should resign the Office: For however he should regret the necessity of a change, at such a stage of the business, which could not fail to be attended with inconvenience, he must regard this as a less evil than frequent interruptions of its course, by absences of the Commissioners” (DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters). Langdon did not resign his position, however. He and his fellow commissioners submitted their final report to GW in June 1793.

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