Alexander Hamilton Papers
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To Alexander Hamilton from Edmund Randolph, 16 June 1794

From Edmund Randolph

Philadelphia June 16th 1794

The Secretary of State has the honor of returning to the Secretary of the Treasury the letter from Mr. Hollins1 of Baltimore, claiming a balance of five hundred and seventy-five dollars and five cents for the pilot-boat dispatched to Jamaica in behalf of Capt. Barney.2 I never understood, that this was to be a public charge; I never made it so by any act of mine, and I do not admit any obligation on my department for the payment of the above sum.

LC, RG 59, Domestic Letters of the Department of State, Vol. 6, January 2–June 26, 1794, National Archives.

1John Hollins was a Baltimore merchant.

2The Revolutionary naval hero Joshua Barney, who had been engaged in trade with Santo Domingo, had sailed from that island in the Sampson in late December, 1793. Several days out, the Sampson was captured by a British frigate, the Penelope, and carried into Jamaica, as were many other American vessels seized under the British order in council of November 6, 1793 (see the introductory note to H to George Washington, March 8, 1794). Although Barney was acquitted at his trial on a charge of piracy at Spanish Town, Jamaica, the Sampson and her cargo were condemned. Barney returned to Baltimore aboard the pilot ship Slavery on May 16, 1794.

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