Report on the Petition of William Hardy
and Joseph Bedford1
[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 May 1790, the Petition of William Hardy and Joseph Bedford,3 thereupon respectfully Reports—
That upon inquiry it is understood to be true, that the Petitioners were employed by direction of the late Board of Treasury, in the examination, counting and destroying of the Old Emission Money, and that there remains a certain Sum due to them respectively, which the Board refused to allow, because part of the Charge for which Compensation is claimed relates to a period, which is subsequent to the time, when the Board had directed the Treasurer4 to discontinue the business in which the petitioners were engaged.
The Treasurer not having complied with the direction of the Board (which however cannot be referred to any improper motive) whatever responsibility it might involve on his part to the Government, does not appear an adequate Cause for refusing Compensation to persons whom he continued to employ, and who in fact rendered a Service useful to the public, deserving compensation, and who were to be considered as public Agents not as private Agents of Mr. Hillegas. In this light the Case of the petitioners presents itself as a proper one for relief, which in the opinion of the Secretary would be justly afforded by authorising the accounting officers of the Treasury to admit and settle the Claim.
All which is humbly submitted
Secy. of the Treasury.
February 27th 1794.
Copy, RG 233, Reports of the Secretary of the Treasury, 1784–1795, Vol. IV, National Archives.
1. This report was one of twenty-nine reports on petitions enclosed in H to Frederick A. C. Muhlenberg, February 27, 1794.
3. On May 24, 1790, a “petition of William Hardy and Joseph Bedford was presented to the House and read, praying compensation for services rendered to the United States.
“Ordered, That the said petition … 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, 221.)
4. Michael Hillegas was the first treasurer of the United States.