James Madison Papers
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Petition of Gilbert Dench, [11 January] 1797

Petition of Gilbert Dench

[11 January 1797]

The House went into a Committee of the Whole to consider the report of the Committee of Claims on Gilbert Dench (Annals of Congress description begins Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States … (42 vols.; Washington, 1834–56). description ends , 4th Cong., 2d sess., 1835–36).

Messrs. Madison … were of opinion, that if Mr. Dench had any claim it was upon the state of Massachusetts, and not upon the United States.1

Claypoole’s Am. Daily Advertiser, 12 Jan. 1797 (reprinted in Philadelphia Gazette, 12 Jan. 1797, and Gales’s Independent Gazetteer, 13 Jan. 1797; also reported in New World, 13 Jan. 1797, and American Senator, 1:331).

1In 1782 Gilbert Dench had contracted with Jabez Hatch, deputy quartermaster for the U.S., to transport military stores for $20,000, to be paid in specie. Hatch was unable to pay the specie and obtained a loan in certificates from the state of Massachusetts in anticipation of the taxes being collected by the Continental Congress. Dench gave a receipt for the certificates and the U.S. reimbursed Massachusetts for the loan. Dench then petitioned for losses suffered from the depreciation of the certificates. The Committee of Claims and the House rejected the petition (ASP description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States … (38 vols.; Washington, 1832–61). description ends , Claims, p. 193; Annals of Congress description begins Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States … (42 vols.; Washington, 1834–56). description ends , 4th Cong., 2d sess., 1839).

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