George Washington Papers
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To George Washington from Oliver Wolcott, Jr., 31 May 1797

From Oliver Wolcott, Jr.

Philadelphia May 31 st 1797

Dear Sir

I have the pleasure to acknowledge your favour by the Alexandria mail of May 26th.1 On applying to the Bank of Pensylvania I was told that no monies had been lodged on your account, by Colo. Shreve or any other person—on shewing your Letter to Mr James Ross, he paid me on account of Colo. Ritchie 3409 20/100 Dollars which I now remit in four Treasury drafts on Mr Fitzgerald endorsed in your favour. Mr Ross desires me to request your Receipt & Certificate that this sum has been endorsed on the bond remaining in your possession—if it is sent to me, I will deliver it to Mr Ross—In any future time I shall be happy to have it in my power to render similar services.2

The House have not agreed on a reply to the Presidents speech—It is certain that there is a small majority favourably disposed to the measures of the government; the opposition are aiming to effect two points—1st an indirect disapprobation of past measures, & 2d an intimation that the operation of existing Treaties is unfavourable to France, it is not difficult to see, that the drift of the leading men, is to criminate this Country & justify France. From present appearances it is probable that Mr Dayton & some neutral characters will incorporate in the address an incorrect though perhaps not a very important amendment.3

The Presidents speech is so far as I am informed generally approved—The Senate appears to be firm—all the matters recommended are referred to Committees, except that respecting further Revenue.

We hear nothing from Europe since I wrote last, except that Cadiz is closely blockaded by a British fleet. With a respectful remembrance of Mrs Washington, I remain Dear Sir, your obedient servant

Oliv. Wolcott jr

ALS, DLC:GW; copy, CtHi: Oliver Wolcott, Jr., Papers.

1No letter from GW to Wolcott of 26 May has been found, but this letter from Wolcott appears to be written in response to GW’s letter of 29 May.

2For the dealings of GW and his Pennsylvania land agent James Ross with Israel Shreve as purchaser of Washington’s Bottom, see Timothy Pickering to GW, 21 April, n. 1. Ross in 1796 completed for GW the sale of GW’s 2,813–acre Millers Run property in Washington County, Pa., for $12,000, to Col. Matthew Ritchie with Alexander Addison as a silent partner. See Ross to GW, 11 Sept. 1795, 15 April, 18 Aug. 1796. William Crawford surveyed for GW the tract on Millers Run, a tributary of Chartiers Creek, in 1771, for which GW obtained a patent in July 1774. For GW’s problems with squatters on his Millers Run land, see the editorial note in Thomas Smith to GW, 9 Feb. 1785.

3The U.S. House of Representatives debated its answer to the president’s speech of 16 May regarding France and American defense policy from 22 May until 3 June when it delivered its response to Adams (Annals of Congress description begins Joseph Gales, Sr., comp. 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. 42 vols. Washington, D.C., 1834–56. description ends , 5th Cong., 1st sess., 67–238). For the amendment offered by Speaker of the House Jonathan Dayton (1760–1824) of New Jersey, see ibid., 199–206.

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