Alexander Hamilton Papers
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From Alexander Hamilton to George Washington, 25 April 1794

To George Washington

[Philadelphia] April 25, 1794. “The Secretary of the Treasury … encloses the drafts of two passports for the President’s signature. One for the Schooner Commerce, now in this port; and the other for the Schooner Eagle at Baltimore. Colo. Smith of Baltimore1 has applied, thro’ the Secry. of State, for a passport for a small vessel (name & Captain not known) to be sent to Bermuda in ballast.…”2

LC, George Washington Papers, Library of Congress.

1Samuel Smith, a Baltimore merchant and a member of the House of Representatives from Maryland, had written to Edmund Randolph on April 23, 1794, requesting a passport for a vessel. The request was presumably in connection with the capture of the Brigantine Betsey, owned by George and William Patterson of Baltimore, which had been captured by the British in March, 1794, and taken to Bermuda where the case for adjudication was held (ALS, RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters, 1790–1799, National Archives; Moore, International Adjudications, IV description begins John Bassett Moore, ed., International Adjudications: Ancient and Modern, History and Documents, Together with Mediatorial Reports, Advisory Opinions, and the Decisions of Domestic Commissions, on International Claims (New York, 1931), IV. description ends 179–290).

2On April 26, 1794, Washington “Signed passports for the following vessels to proceed to St. Domingo, in ballast, with liberty to take in such Inhabitants of sd. Island, as passengers, as may choose to embark, with their clothing, baggage & seastores—to wit. Schooner Commerce, Philada.

Do. Eagle Baltimore
Sloop Eliza, Philada. Wm Davis.

& a blank one for a vessel at Baltimore (delivd. to the Secy. of the treasury,) to proceed to Bermuda” (JPP description begins “Journal of the Proceedings of the President,” George Washington Papers, Library of Congress. description ends , 289).

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