George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Henry Knox, 15 April 1794

From Henry Knox

War department April 15th 1794


I submit to your consideration a proposed answer to the Governors letter of yesterday.1 The object really seems more of a local than of general nature, and therefore nothing is hinted of an application to Congress, who if the object is of a general nature are alone competent to grant relief—But although the Petitioners are probably British subjects yet it is highly probable that they are sailing in the ships of Americans as eight tenths of the Sailors out of this port are probably Europeans.

If Congress should interpose in this case it would form a precedent for similar applications from every other part of the Union. I have the honor to be with perfect respect Your obedient servant

H. Knox


1Pennsylvania governor Thomas Mifflin’s letter to GW of 14 April enclosed a petition from unemployed sailors asking for financial support from the federal government during the embargo imposed on 26 March (Stat description begins Richard Peters, ed. The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America, from the Organization of the Government in 1789, to March 3, 1845 . . .. 8 vols. Boston, 1845-67. description ends . 1:400). For Knox’s letter to Mifflin of 15 April, see n.3 of Mifflin’s letter.

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