George Washington Papers
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To George Washington from William McElhatton, 13 May 1793

From William McElhatton

Philadelphia May 13th 1793

May it Please the President

The Subscriber having served during the late War as an Officer in the Army of the United States, and being wounded in the said service, has come from Kentuckey the place of his residence to the City of Philadelphia,1 in order to apply for to be placed on the Pension List agreeable to the Act of Congress in that Case made and provided, and having gone thro’ his examination, a report is made to the Secretary of the United States for the department of War in his favour, for a full Pension, but as nothing further can be done until the Meeting of the next Congress,2 he is anxious to return to his Family again in Kentuckey but being entirely destitute of the means of returning home to his large Family for the want of Money, is under the necessity, of applying to your Excellency, whose humanity is well known, for a Loan of so much money as will bear his Expences to Kentuckey which when he receives his pension will be repaid.3 With greatest Gratitude and Thankfullness—I am Sir with the highest Esteem Your Excellencys Obedient Hble servant

Wm McElhatton
Late Cptn lt 6th pensylvny Rgt

ALS, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters.

1William McElhatton (McHatton; d. 1807) joined the 12th Pennsylvania Regiment in 1776. After being wounded at Bordentown, N.J., on 8 May 1778, he was transferred to the 6th Pennsylvania Regiment on 1 July 1778 with the rank of captain lieutenant and to the Corps of Invalids on 6 July 1779, remaining in service until 1784. At some point after the war, he moved to Nelson County, Kentucky.

2See “An Act to regulate the Claims to Invalid Pensions,” signed by GW on 28 Feb. 1793, in 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 324–25. The Third Congress convened for its first session on 2 Dec. 1793, and McElhatton’s petition was presented to the House of Representatives on 29 Jan. 1794 (Journal of the House, 6:103).

3On 15 May, GW gave McElhatton 2½ guineas, equivalent to $11.67 (Household Accounts description begins Presidential Household Accounts, 1793–97. Manuscript, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. description ends ).

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