Alexander Hamilton Papers
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To Alexander Hamilton from John Wendell, 26 December 1794

From John Wendell1

Portsmouth [New Hampshire] Decr. 26th 1794

Respected Sir

It is with great Reluctance that I address myself again to you on the Subject of Monsr Dumons Memorial which I presented several Congresses & which was committed to you for yr. Consultation & Report.2 I am conscious that I have tresspessed upon your Important Station when so many Matters of public Exigencies call for yr most attentive Exertions but I have submitted with patience & Subserviency to more important Avocations Until I find that you had determined to retire3 & injoy an Otium cum Dignitate and that the injurious Calumnies of intriguing Men had induced you to quit the public Exercise of yr Department longer than the last of next Month. Your previous Annunciation of this Event and yr oblique Challenge to your Enemies to come forward with every Proof of Insinuating Aspersions,4 has done you Honour And your Services will immortalize yr. Name with Posterity, but I fear the public Revenue will receive such a Stabb as may occasion a deep Wound not easily to be healed, as one Individual of the Community give me Leave to wish you Happiness & the Injoyment of Health during a good Old Age.

With Respect to Mr Dumons Affair There is with the Papers a considerable Sum of Continental Money—of the very first Impression which I hope will be taken Care of as my Friend Mr Gerry5 put it in on purpose to prove the Facts. I know it is a discouraging Time to seek Retribution or Compensation, but I wish your Report if even to reject the Memorial if you could Annex a Clause that it might be revived under some other Form.6 If it shd be productive ⟨–⟩ of Embarrasments to Congress by granting the Prayer of the Petition, yet fiat Justitia, ruat Cœlum is an Established Maxim of Equity. I salute you with the Compliments of the Season and with Sentiments of Respect and Esteem I am

Sir   Your most Obedt Hb Servt

John Wendell

Honble A Hamilton Esqre.
Philadelphia

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1Wendell was a merchant in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

2On December 21, 1791, the House of Representatives received “A petition of Jean Baptist Dumon, son and heir of Jean Baptist Dumon, deceased, late of Canada, merchant, praying to be reimbursed certain advances made by the deceased, for the support of the American Army, and also for losses and injuries sustained, both in his person and property, by adhering to the American cause, during the late war” (Journal of the House description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States (Washington, 1826), I, II, III. description ends , I, 479). See H to Wendell, August 30, 1792.

5Elbridge Gerry had been a member of the House of Representatives from Massachusetts from March 4, 1789, to March 3, 1793.

6On January 12, 1795, the House resolved that Dumon’s petition could not be granted (Journal of the House description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States (Washington, 1826), I, II, III. description ends , II, 411). Dumon presented his petition again on December 16, 1796, and was again refused on January 11, 1797 (Journal of the House description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States (Washington, 1826), I, II, III. description ends , II, 620, 644). Wendell introduced the petition on February 1, 1798, and requested that the House reconsider its decision. The petition was laid on the table, and no record has been found of any further action by the House (Journal of the House description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States (Washington, 1826), I, II, III. description ends , III, 157).

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