George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Douleau, 1 December 1791

From William Douleau

[Philadelphia, 1 Dec. 1791]. Solicits GW’s assistance in obtaining his release from the workhouse in which he is confined.

ALS, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters.

Douleau’s letter is almost indecipherable because of his limited ability to write English. The unidentified man was either poorly educated or a native speaker of another language. Apparently confined to the Philadelphia workhouse by the city’s overseers of the poor, Douleau had applied for his release to Secretary of War Henry Knox, Vice-President John Adams, and someone (perhaps a member of Congress) from “nir Geracye” [New Jersey]. In his search for “gosts” [justice], Douleau also claims to have submitted a petition to Congress.

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