To Laurent De Saxÿ & Laurent De Verneüil
Philadelphia 26th Decr 1793.
I have been favored with your letters of the 6th & 10th of the present month, but not in due time.
I wish my resources were equal to the relief of the distresses which you, and many others under like circumstances have described. But the truth is, my private purse is inadequate, & there is no public money at my disposal.
Such as the first was competent to, I placed early in the hands of a Committee in this City, to be disposed of for the benefit of the unfortunate Sufferers from St Domingo whose necessities ⟨were⟩ greatest & means least.1
I prefered this mode of contributing my mite, 1st because it was not in my power to enquire into the degree of individual wants—2dly because I did not possess the means of Administering to them in the extent which might be required. and 3dly to guard against impositions, several of which had been attempted with Success.
In almost every City and large Town in the United States, Committees similar to the one I have already mentioned, are established. To the one nearest you, I should conceive it might be well to make your case known. In the meanwhile to supply your momentary wants I send you Twenty five dollars in Bank notes.2
With very poignant feelings for the distress you describe yourselves to be in I am—Madames Your Most Obedt and Very Hble Servant
ALS (letterpress copy), DLC:GW; LB, DLC:GW.
1. At a meeting held in Philadelphia on 9 July “to consult on measures for the relief of the distressed citizens of Cape Francois,” a committee was created to “ascertain the number of the persons to be relieved” and “to afford temporary relief” (Dunlap’s American Daily Advertiser [Philadelphia], 12 and 15 July). GW’s accounts, under the date of 18 July, debit $250, “gave by the President’s order into the hands of Israel Israel, one of the Committee, towards the Relief of the French from St. Domingo” (Household Accounts description begins Presidential Household Accounts, 1793–97. Manuscript, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. description ends ).
2. The $25 is debited under the date 27 Dec. in GW’s accounts: “Contingt Exps. delivd the President to send to two distressed French women at New Castle” (Household Accounts description begins Presidential Household Accounts, 1793–97. Manuscript, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. description ends ).