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From George Washington to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, 3 December 1794

To the United States Senate and House of Representatives

United States, Decem: 3d 1794.

Gentlemen of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives.

I transmit to you an official statement of the expenditure, to the 30th of September last, from the sums heretofore granted to defray the Contingent Expenses of Government, by Acts passed the 26th day of March 1790—and the 9th of June 1794.1

Go: Washington

LS, DNA: RG 46, entry 33; copy, DNA: RG 233, entry 19, Journals; copy, DLC:GW.

1GW was referring to “An Act making appropriations for the support of government for the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety,” 26 March 1790, which set up a contingent fund of $10,000, and to “An Act making appropriations for certain purposes therein expressed,” 9 June 1794 (1 Stat. description begins Richard Peters, ed. The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America, from the Organization of the Government in 1789, to March 3, 1845 . . .. 8 vols. Boston, 1845-67. description ends 104–6, 394–95).

The statement of expenditures, signed by the register, Joseph Nourse, is with the LS in DNA: RG 46. It lists thirteen warrants, beginning on 26 Feb. 1793 with a warrant for $8 reimbursing the marshal of Vermont for “making and engraving a Seal for said district,” and ending on 30 Sept. 1794 with a warrant for $1,500 to Edmund Randolph “pursuant to Instructions from the President of the United States.” The other warrants included $140 to James Seagrove for his expenses “on public Business … to the Spanish Government of East Florida”; $13.33 to reimburse payment of a messenger hired by Edward Carrington to carry a packet from GW to Thomas Jefferson; $704 for a bill of exchange drawn by Edward Church; $18.66 for “a Screw-press and Frame procured by” the clerk of the Rhode Island District and Circuit courts; $5,000 to Nathaniel Cabot Higginson for his mission on behalf of American ships seized and sent to the British West Indies; $2,098.35 to Isaac Hazlehurst for expenses incurred in sending dispatches from GW to the minister in France; $2,000 for two bills of exchange drawn by Higginson; $64 to compensate the district attorney for Virginia for attendance at Norfolk “to take depositions respecting the Capture of a British Vessel alledged to have been taken by a French Privateer within the Marine Limits of the U. States”; $12.11 to Joseph Tatlow for bringing public dispatches from New Castle to Philadelphia; $1,863 for the charter of the vessel that carried Higginson to the West Indies; and $1,950 for another bill of exchange drawn by Higginson. Since the contingent fund had $8,302.50 unexpended as of 31 Dec. 1792 and $20,000 appropriated by the 1794 act, these expenditures left a $12,931.05 “Balance unexpended, to be accounted for in a future Statement.”

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