Alexander Hamilton Papers
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Report on the Petition of Reuben Murray, [21 November 1792]

Report on the Petition of Reuben Murray

[Philadelphia, November 21, 1792
Communicated on November 22, 1792]1

[To the Speaker of the House of Representatives]

The Secretary of the Treasury, to whom was referred, by the House of Representatives, the petition of Reuben Murray,2 respectfully submits the following Report.

The petition seeks compensation for certain advances, alleged to have been made in Canada, in the year 1776, for the benefit of a detachment of sick soldiers under the charge of the petitioner.

The nature of the claim is a meritorious one, but at this late date, a proper investigation is hardly possible. It is barred by the Acts of limitation:3 No claim prior to the present petition appearing to have been preferred against the United States.4

No proofs accompany the petition.

The Secretary is, therefore, of opinion, that there does not appear sufficient ground for granting the prayer of the petition.

Which is humbly submitted.

Alexander Hamilton,
Secry. of the Treasry.

Copy, RG, 233, Reports of the Treasury Department, 1792–1793, Vol. III, National Archives.

1Journal of the House, I description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States (Washington, 1826), I. description ends , 625–26. The communicating letter, dated November 21, 1792, may be found in RG 233, Reports of the Treasury Department, 1792–1793, Vol. III, National Archives.

2On November 22, 1791, the petition of Reuben Murray was “presented to the House and read … praying to be reimbursed for sundry expenditures in the service of the United States, during the late war.…

Ordered, That the said … [petition] be referred to the Secretary of the Treasury, with instruction to examine the same, and report his opinion thereupon to the House.” (Journal of the House, I description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States (Washington, 1826), I. description ends , 458.)

3JCC description begins Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (Washington, 1904–1937). description ends , XXIX, 866; XXXIII, 392. See also “Report on Sundry Petitions,” April 16, 1792.

4H appears to have been mistaken, for Murray had presented an earlier petition to Congress which was accompanied by “vouchers and testimonials.” The petition was read in Congress on July 15, 1784, and ordered to be considered at the next Congress. On August 2, 1785, the petition was marked for filing (D, Papers of the Continental Congress, National Archives).

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