James Madison Papers

To James Madison from John Wilson, 28 June 1790

From John Wilson

New York June 28th. 1790.

Hon’ble Sir,

It is now nearly two Months since I addressed a Petition to the Hon’ble House Representatives in Congress Assembled; praying that the Hon’ble House would be pleased to consider my situation as an Invalied and grant me relief in the premises.1

I would not wish to trouble you Sir, with a detail of my Losses & Expences that I sustained since the period of my being wounded and during of my Illness of said Wounds: the Vouchers produced I hope will amply testify my situation, and as I am here at Expences and in no circumstances to defray those Expences, nor of sufficient ability for to Labour to get my Livelihood, I should hope to meet the favor, countenance, & support of my Country in whose service I have been rendered incapable of earning my Bread.

The distinguished part which you have taken in behalf of the Soldiery of the late Army hath induced me to address you Sir, in particular humbly to sollicit your countenance, and aid, in getting me that support which my services entitle me to, and which is Justified by precedent; and the principals of Justice & Equity. I have no particular reasons for addressing you on this occasion than as a Philanthropist and I humbly trust that my address will not be in vain—relying much on the favor of your countenance & support, at all events I have the satisfaction of feeling a gratitude stimulated by your laudable endeavours for the injured Soldiery under the impulse of which I shall ever consider myself Sir Your most gratefull hum: servt.

John Wilson

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

1Wilson’s petition was presented to the House on 30 Apr. and referred to Secretary Knox. The secretary’s report on this and other petitions was laid before the House on 24 May and tabled. Wilson was wounded at Monmouth on 28 June 1778 and subsequently discharged. Knox’s opinion was that Wilson’s claim was precluded by the resolve of Congress of 11 June 1788, which set a deadline of six months from that date for invalid pension applications (DHFC description begins Linda Grant De Pauw et al., eds., Documentary History of the First Federal Congress of the United States of America (3 vols. to date; Baltimore, 1972—). description ends , III, 391, 421; DNA: RG 233, House of Representatives Records, A Record of the Reports of the Secretary of War; JCC description begins Worthington C. Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XXXIV, 210).

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