Alexander Hamilton Papers
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Conversation with George Hammond, [15–16 April 1794]

Conversation with George Hammond

[Philadelphia, April 15–16, 1794] “… the answer … to Mr. Pinckney’s Memorial …1 was laid before the two houses of Congress …2 but it has not as yet been ordered to be printed. I have had however the satisfaction of learning from Mr. Hamilton that it has been well received by this government.”3

D, PRO: F.O. description begins Transcripts or photostats from the Public Record Office of Great Britain deposited in the Library of Congress. description ends , Series 5, Vol. 4.

1This conversation has been taken from Hammond to Lord Grenville, April 17, 1794, Dispatch No. 11.

2Early in December, 1793, before the British order in council of November 6, 1793, had been made public in London, Thomas Pinckney, United States Minister Plenipotentiary to Great Britain, presented a memorial to Lord Grenville which stated “that the President of the United States has received information of additional instructions to His Majesty’s ships of war and privateers, dated the 8th of June, 1793, and that it is with great concern he finds they authorize measures which must materially injure the United States and abridge the rights to which, as a neutral nation, they are entitled.… The article … which is deemed peculiarly injurious to the United States, is that which permits all vessels laden wholly, or in part, with corn, flour, or meal, bound to any port in France, to be stopped and sent into such port as may be most convenient, to be purchased by Government, or to be released only on condition of security being given by the master that he will proceed to dispose of his cargo in the port of some country in amity with His Majesty. It is conceived that this article is in opposition to the law of nations…” (ASP description begins American State Papers, Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States (Washington, 1832–1861). description ends , Foreign Relations, I, 449).

Upon receipt of this memorial Lord Grenville wrote to Hammond requesting him to prepare “the reply and deliver it to the American Government” (Mayo, Instructions to British Ministers description begins Bernard Mayo, ed., “Instructions to the British Ministers to the United States,” Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1936 (Washington, 1941), III. description ends , 46). On April 11, 1794, Hammond accordingly sent a letter to Edmund Randolph defending the British order in council of June 8, 1793 (ASP description begins American State Papers, Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States (Washington, 1832–1861). description ends , Foreign Relations, I, 449–50). For the orders in council of June 8 and November 6, 1793, see “Conversation with George Hammond,” August 21–30, 1793, note 3, and the introductory note to H to George Washington, March 8, 1794.

3On April 15, 1794, Washington submitted to Congress a copy of Hammond’s letter of April 11, 1794, to Randolph (Annals of Congress description begins 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 (Washington, 1834–1849). description ends , IV, 83, 595).

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