George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Alexander Hamilton, 9 March 1792

From Alexander Hamilton

Treasury Departt 9th Mar. 1792.

The Secretary of the Treasury has the honor respectfully to enclose to the President of the United States a Petition to the President from Samuel Davis of the State of Rhode Island & Providence Plantations, together with the papers from the files of the Treasury relative thereto.1 These last are transmitted with the Petition at the request of the honorable Mr Bourne of that State, who has applied in behalf of the Petitioner.


1The enclosures have not been identified. Capt. Samuel Davis, the master of the schooner Sally, had illegally landed two bales of cotton in Tarpaulin Cove on the south shore of Naushon Island in the Elizabeth Islands of Massachusetts’s Buzzards Bay in July 1791. After a jury at Salem, Mass., in early September had been unable to agree on a verdict, the case was referred to the Massachusetts circuit court, before which Davis pleaded guilty to false swearing in November and was sentenced to jail until he paid a fine of $50. According to the State Department memorandum book (DNA:PCC, item 187), GW issued Davis a pardon on 21 June 1792. For more information about the case, see Benjamin Lincoln to Hamilton, 29 July, 9 Sept. 1791, and Hamilton to Lincoln, 7 Oct. 1791, in Syrett, Hamilton Papers, description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends 8:583–84, 9:194–95, 293.

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