George Washington Papers

Tobias Lear to Alexander Hamilton, 19 August 1793

Tobias Lear to Alexander Hamilton

United States Augt 19. 179[3].1

By the President’s command T. Lear has the honor to transmit to The Secretary of the Treasury the final report of the Commissioners for settling the accounts between the United States and the individual States, together with the Letter accompanying the same from them to the President.2

T. Lear is moreover directed by the President to observe to the Secretary, that the enclosed report was left at the President’s house during his late visit to Virginia, and therefore did not get to his hands ’till the 11. of July;3 it was then sent to the office of the Secretary of State to be there deposited & copies thereof prepared to be laid before Congress at their meeting. There being nothing express in any law respecting this subject as to the place where the report should be lodged—the implication to that effect was not particularly noticed, until the matter was mentioned to the President by the Secretary of the Treasury.4 The report was then sent for from the office of the Secy of State, but it having been put away by Mr Taylor, the principal Clerk, who was then gone to New York, it could not be found until his return this day.5

The President has thought it proper that these circumstances should be noted to account for the delay in depositing the report; but he presumes that no inconvenience will arise therefrom, as the doings upon it may take effect in course from it’s date.

Tobias Lear S.P.U.S.


1The copyist erroneously dated this letter “1794.”

2The commissioners had enclosed their final report with a brief cover letter to Thomas Jefferson of 29 June 1793 asking that it be forwarded to GW (Report of the Commissioners for Settling the Accounts Between the United States and the Individual States, 29 June 1793, source note).

3GW departed Philadelphia on 24 June for a visit to Mount Vernon and returned to the city on 11 July 1793 (JPP description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed. The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797. Charlottesville, Va., 1981. description ends , 189–90).

4On 15 July, GW sent Jefferson the report and its accompanying cover letter, “to be lodged in his office…. And he was desired to have copies thereof prepared to lay before Congress at their next meeting” (ibid., 198). For the receipt of this report by Congress on 5 Dec. 1793, 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 , 3d Cong., 1st sess., 16–17; see also GW to U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, 3 Dec. 1793. For the confusion about where the commissioners should sent their final report, see their first and second letters to GW of 21 June and GW’s reply of 22 June 1793.

5Lear’s letter to Jefferson of 13 Aug. asking for the report has not been found. On the search for this report at the State Department and its eventual recovery, see Jefferson to GW, 13 Aug., and George Taylor, Jr., to Lear, 19 Aug. 1793.

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