Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Philip Wilson, [on or before 15 April 1802]

From Philip Wilson

[on or before 15 Apr. 1802]

Pray your Excellency grant me in some way protection from cruel Delay and wrong; The Committee of Claims, put me off the third year, although the Auditor gave me an acknowledgement that the Rice and Claret, I supplied to Comy. General Blains Department, is entered in account in that office, as “Unsettled for.”

Mr. Smith, Secretary of the Navy, does not understand my Naval Architecture, or my Discussion thereon. Through some Superintendance, I might introduce it into American Shipping of War &c.—Indeed your Excellency, I fear it will be necessary thereto ere long; as the designs of the French are not understood.—

I have not money to carry me home, nor to procure a dinner to my Wife and Children, whom I left in want: under the worst of ills: great poverty—Our Cloaths all pawned and eat up by Usance.

Pray Your Excellency grant Relief to Your Cruelly oppressed Citizen

Philip Wilson

RC (DLC); undated; at foot of text: “His Excellency the President of the United States &c.”; endorsed by TJ as received 15 Apr. 1802 and so recorded in SJL.

On 15 Dec. 1801, Wilson submitted a petition to the House of Representatives for settlement of his claim for supplying

RICE AND CLARET to the Continental army in 1778, which was referred to the Committee of Claims. Reporting on 28 Dec., the committee recommended that Wilson’s memorial “ought not be granted.” The same committee rejected a similar petition from Wilson in December 1800 (JHR description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1826, 9 vols. description ends , 3:732–3; 4:17, 26).

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