George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Alexander Hamilton, 6 April 1792

To Alexander Hamilton

United States [Philadelphia] April 6th 1792.

In virtue of the last clause of “an Act for the relief of certain Widows, Orphans, Invalids & other persons,” you will cause to be paid to Nicholas Ferdinand Westfall the sum of three hundred and thirty six Dollars out of the fund of Ten thousand Dollars appropriated for defraying the contingent charges of Government, by an Act passed on the 26th day of March 1790.1

G: Washington.


1Hamilton had written GW on 5 April that “an application has been made at the Treasury by the honorable Mr [Frederick] Muhlenburg of Pennsylvania in behalf of the Administratrix of Nicholas F. Westphal deceased, for the discharge of a Claim due to the Estate of her late husband in virtue of the last clause of ‘An Act for the relief of certain widows, Orphans, Invalids and other persons’” (DLC:GW). The last clause of the act reads: “That there be granted to Nicholas Ferdinand Westfall, who left the British service, and joined the Army of the United States during the late war, one hundred acres of unappropriated land in the Western Territory of the United States, free of all charges, and also the sum of three hundred and thirty-six dollars, out of any money appropriated to the contingent charges of Government” (Annals of Congress description begins Joseph Gales, Sr., comp. The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States; with an Appendix, Containing Important State Papers and Public Documents, and All the Laws of a Public Nature. 42 vols. Washington, D.C., 1834–56. description ends , 2d Cong., 1st sess., 1350). Hamilton had enclosed a copy of the act and suggested “that this claim being payable out of the unexpended appropriations to the contingent charges of Government, it appears to require a special order of the President” (DLC:GW). Westfall, who had worked as a Philadelphia schoolmaster following the Revolutionary War, recently had died (Philadelphia Directory, 1791, description begins Clement Biddle. The Philadelphia Directory. Philadelphia, 1791. description ends 140).

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