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Report on the Petition of Prudent La Jeunesse, [21 November 1792]

Report on the Petition of Prudent La Jeunesse

[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 Prudent La Jeunesse,2 respectfully submits the following Report.

The petition suggests no specific ground of claim on the justice of the United States, but rather appears to seek a gratuity, in consideration of having espoused the cause of the United States, early in the late war, of having abandoned his residence in Canada, to follow its fortunes, and of being in distress.

No circumstances of merit or suffering are adduced, sufficiently strong or discriminating to call for a special interposition in favor of the petitioner.

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 August 26, 1789, the petition of La Jeunesse was “presented to the House and read, praying that … [his] claims for military services, rendered during the late war, may be liquidated and satisfied” (Journal of the House, I description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States (Washington, 1826), I. description ends , 90).

On September 25, 1789, this petition, incorrectly cited as that of “Monsieur Lajeune,” was “referred to the Secretary of the Treasury, to report thereupon … to the next session on Congress” (Journal of the House, I description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States (Washington, 1826), I. description ends , 123).

On November 4, 1778, an earlier petition of La Jeunesse had been presented to Congress stating that he had been “employed as an Officer Volunteer in the Army of the United states in Canada during the space of Eighteen months under the Command of Deceased General [Richard] Montgomery General [David] Wooster and General [Benedict] Arnold and was at the Expeditions against St Johns, Chambly, Montreal and the Ceders. That at the retreat of that Army your Petitioner was also obliged to retire from Canada his Native Country” (ADS, Papers of the Continental Congress, National Archives). On the back of this petition a note, dated November 16, 1778, states that the Board of War reported unfavorably on the petition because the period of service was insufficiently supported by evidence.

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