Alexander Hamilton Papers
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Report on the Petition of Joseph Bennett, [27 February 1794]

Report on the Petition of Joseph Bennett1

[Philadelphia, February 27, 1794
Communicated on March 3, 1794]2

[To the Speaker of the House of Representatives]

The Secretary of the Treasury to whom was referred by an order of the House of Representatives of the 24th of December 1792 the Memorial of Joseph Bennet3 thereupon respectfully Reports as follows—

The Memorialist represents that in May and August 1779 certain debts were paid to him in old Continental Money which having been declared a legal Tender by Congress, he had been obliged to receive at its nominal Value. That he loaned the said Money to the United States, upon the Liquidation of which he suffered a Loss of four thousand Dollars for which he claims Compensation.

There is nothing in the Case of the Memorialist to distinguish it from the general Case of the Creditors who made similar Loans to the United States, and of course the Claim does not in the Opinion of the Secretary admit of a distinct treatment.

Which is humbly submitted

Alexander Hamilton
Secy. of the Treasury.

Copy, RG 233, Reports of the Secretary of the Treasury, 1784–1795, Vol. IV, National Archives.

1This report was one of twenty-nine reports on petitions enclosed in H to Frederick A. C. Muhlenberg, February 27, 1794.

For H’s report of some earlier claims for depreciation, see “Report on Several Petitions Seeking Indemnification for Various Sums of Paper Money Received During the Late War,” November 17, 1792.

2Journal of the House description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States (Washington, 1826), I, II. description ends , II, 77–78.

3On December 24, 1792, the House of Representatives received “a memorial of Joseph Bennett, praying that certain sums of money in the bills of credit, emitted by Congress, which he received in the year one thousand seven hundred and seventy-nine … for the payment of debts contracted previous thereto, may be made good to him, at their nominal value.

Ordered, That the said … [memorial] 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 description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States (Washington, 1826), I, II. description ends , I, 653.)

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