Alexander Hamilton Papers

Continental Congress Report on the Memorials of Chevalier de Cambray-Digby and Captain Jacques Schreiber, 4 December 1782

Continental Congress
Report on the Memorials of Chevalier de Cambray-Digby and Captain Jacques Schreiber

[Philadelphia] December 4, 1782

The Committee1 to whom were referred the memorials of Lt Col Cambray & Capt Schreiber beg leave to report2

That although they consider the situation of foreigners in the service of this country, remote from any resources which they may have in their own, and destitute of any competent provision here, as involving a peculiar hardship and requiring if possible some discrimination in their favour, yet in the present embarrassed state of the public finances, they cannot advise any measure for their relief which may derange the general plans of the Superintendant of Finance, and they therefore recommend that the matter may be left to his discretion to act therein as he may conceive most proper.

AD, Papers of the Continental Congress, National Archives.

1The committee consisted of H, Richard Peters, and Samuel Osgood.

2Louis Antoine Jean Baptiste, Chevalier de Cambray-Digby, was commissioned a lieutenant colonel in the Corps of Engineers in June, 1778. Captain Jacques Schreiber, who first served in the artillery, was made a captain in the Corps of Engineers in March, 1780. Both Cambray and Schreiber had been taken prisoner at Charleston, South Carolina, in 1780, and exchanged in 1781.

A letter from Schreiber of November 22, 1782, requesting arrears of pay due him, had been referred to the Superintendent of Finance. The Superintendent reported to Congress on November 25, 1782, that he had declined to furnish the money because he considered “it of the utmost importance to delay such payment until the State of the Treasury will admit of equal sums being granted to every officer in the Service.” On November 27, this report was referred to a committee (JCC description begins Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (Washington, 1904–1937). description ends , XXIII, 757).

A letter from Cambray dated November 25, requesting back pay, was referred to the same committee on November 27.

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