Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from George Washington, 21 March 1794

From George Washington

United States 21. Mar. 1794.

Pay to The Secretary of State, in pursuance of the Act providing for the relief of such of the Inhabitants of St. Domingo, resident within the U. S. as may be found in want of support,1 two thousand dollars; to be by him remitted to the Comittee at Baltimore,2 appointed to superintend the unfortunate people of the above description at that place.

Geo: Washington

LC, George Washington Papers, Library of Congress.

16 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America [Private Statutes] (Boston, 1856). description ends 13 (February 12, 1794). See Washington to H, March 4, 1794, note 1.

2In accordance with Edmund Randolph’s suggestions concerning the implementation of the relief act (Randolph to Washington, February 27, 1794 [LS, RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters, 1790–1799, National Archives]), Washington decided that the money for each state should be distributed where possible through committees which had been set up locally for the relief of Santo Domingan refugees. The Maryland legislature had appointed a committee composed of William Patterson, Gustavus Scott, and Samuel Sterett to distribute four thousand five hundred dollars appropriated by the state for refugees in Baltimore (Journal of the House description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States (Washington, 1826), I, II. description ends , II, 25). A memorial from this committee which was read in Congress on January 1, 1794, initiated Federal action on the Santo Domingan refugee problem. On February 18, 1794, the committee had written to Randolph requesting six hundred dollars per week for four hundred and thirty-seven indigent dependents from Santo Domingo (LS, RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters, 1790–1799, National Archives). A part of the Federal funds was appropriated among the states according to estimates of the number of refugees in each state, and under this original arrangement two thousand dollars was sent to Maryland which Patterson acknowledged on March 13, 1794 (D, RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters, 1790–1799, National Archives). On April 13, 1794, Patterson acknowledged the payment of the two thousand dollars which Washington is requesting in this letter (D, RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters, 1790–1799, National Archives).

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