George Washington Papers

Cabinet Opinion on Funds for French Refugees, 22 April 1794

Cabinet Opinion on Funds for French Refugees

[Philadelphia] April 22. 1794.

We do ourselves the honor of advising the President of the U.S. to apply the remainder of the money, given by law to the indigent of St Domingo, resident here,1 to the furnishing of them with the means of going thither, it being known, that several vessels are now bound thither from different parts of the U.S. with passports, for the purpose of conveying them.2

Edm: Randolph.

H. Knox

Alexandr Hamilton.

DS (in Edmund Randolph’s handwriting), DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; LB, DNA: RG 59, GW’s Correspondence with His Secretaries of State.

1“An Act providing for the relief of such of the inhabitants of Saint Domingo, resident within the United States, as may be found in want of support,” 12 Feb., provided “a sum not exceeding fifteen thousand dollars” (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 . 6:13). On 11 April, Randolph submitted to GW a list of the money distributed to that date (DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters):

“Sent to [William] Patterson, [Gustavus] Scott & [Samuel] Sterrett of Baltimore 2,000
to Jed. Huntington of Connect thro Col. [Jeremiah] Wads[wor]th 150
to Delaware by [William] Hemphill 500
to [Jabez] Bowen of R. Island 1000
[Thomas] Russell of Massa. 250
[Guilian] Verplan[c]k of N. York 1750
[Daniel] De Saus[s]ure of So. Caro. 1750
[Donald] Campbell & others of Virga 1450
[John] Vaughan & others of Phila. 1600
  Dollars 10,450
Patterson in addition 2000.
Georgia 500
No. Carolina 250
  Dollars. 13,200

See also Randolph’s accounts of 10–20 March 1794, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters.

2For some of the vessels scheduled to transport refugees to Saint Domingue, see Hamilton to GW, 22 April. In response to this opinion, GW instructed Hamilton in a second letter to him of 24 April to “Pay to the Secretary of State in pursuance of the Act providing for the relief of such of the Inhabitants of St Domingo, resident within the U.S. as may be found in want of support, one thousand eight hundred dollars; being the remainder of the sum granted for that purpose by the above Act, and to be applied to the furnishing the said Inhabitants with the means of returning to Saint Domingo” (LB, DLC:GW).

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