Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from George Hammond, 28 December 1791

From George Hammond

Philadelphia 28th. December 1791.


Since I had the honor of addressing to you (on the 26th of November) a memorial on the case of Mr. Thomas Pagan, I have received from my Court some farther information upon the subject. I therefore flatter myself, Sir, that you will permit me, to recall this affair to your attention, and to express the solicitude, which I must naturally feel, to learn some determination with regard to it. My firm confidence in the justice of this government leaves me no reason to doubt that that determination will fully meet the expectations of my Court and of Mr. Pagan, and lead to the adoption of such measures as may procure for him, liberation from prison, and a reasonable compensation for the injury he has sustained, as well in his property as person, in consequence of his long and unjust confinement.—I have the honor to be, with sentiments of the greatest respect and consideration, Sir, your most obedient and most humble Servant,

Geo. Hammond

RC (DNA: RG 59, NL); at foot of text: “Mr. Jefferson &c. &c. &c.”; endorsed by TJ as received 28 Dec. 1791 and so recorded in SJL; also docketed by TJ: “Hammond George … Pagan’s case.”

Hammond wrote this after receiving a letter from the British secretary for foreign affairs that enclosed additional papers concerning the case of Thomas Pagan and instructed him “to press this Matter in the strongest Manner, with the American Government, in order to procure the Release of Mr. Pagan, if he should be still in Confinement, and a just Compensation for the Losses he may have sustained by the Proceedings against him” (Grenville to Hammond, 5 Oct. 1791, Mayo, British Ministers description begins Bernard Mayo, ed., “Instructions to the British Ministers to the United States 1791–1812,” American Historical Association, Annual Report, 1936 description ends , p. 19).

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