George Washington Papers

Tobias Lear to Andrew G. Fraunces, 14 August 1793

Tobias Lear to Andrew G. Fraunces

Philada Augt 14th 1793


In the letter which I wrote to you by the President’s order on the 3d inst. you was informed that the President had directed the Secretary of the Treasury to report to him, in writing, on the subject of your letter to the President of the 31st of July.1

This Report has accordingly been made by the Secretary—and the President directs me to inform you, that he finds therein such cogent reasons given for not paying the warrants in your possession that he cannot but be perfectly satisfied with the conduct of the Secretary of the Treasury in having declined the payment of them. And I am, moreover, ordered by the President to add, that altho’ the warrants would not be paid without a further investigation of the circumstances relating to them—and a better ground to justify that payment than appears at present—let them be in the possession of whomsoever they might; yet he thinks you have much less cause to complain of a refusal to pay them, than another wou’d have who might have become possessed of them without knowing all the circumstances respecting them which it appears were known to you.2 I am Sir Yr Ob. St.3

ADf, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters.

1Fraunces wrote GW on 30 July to complain that the Treasury Department refused to redeem two warrants, which the Board of Treasury issued in 1787 and 1789 and which Fraunces purchased shortly after leaving his job at the Treasury Department. For Lear’s letter to Fraunces of 3 Aug., see note 10 of Fraunces to GW, 30 July 1793. For Hamilton’s report, see his first letter to GW of 9 Aug. 1793.

2GW was influenced in his decision not only by Hamilton’s report, but also by the opinion given by Edmund Randolph in his letter to GW of 13 Aug. 1793.

3The word “Note” appears beneath Lear’s closing, followed by: “This letter was sent to Mr Jno. M. Tayler enclosed in the following.” Lear then recorded the cover letter that he wrote to Taylor on 14 Aug.: “Mr A. Fraunces having requested that the Answr to his letter written to the President of the U.S. on the 31st Ultimo might be directed to you—I have, in compliance therewith enclosed a letter for him wh. is an answer to his of the date above mentioned.” Fraunces had written GW on 5 Aug.: “The situation of my family in New York renders it necessary for me to depart for a few days to that City—immediately—I have in consequence fully impowerd Mr John M. Taylor to Act for me in the Business relative to the Treasury Warrants and with whom I have left every document—Mr Taylor is then the Gentleman to whom I request you to direct your Answer to mine of the 30th July.” Beneath his signature, Fraunces added, “Jno. M. Taylor No. 3 No. Water Street Phila.” (DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters).

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