George Washington Papers

From George Washington to the United States Senate and House of Representatives, 7 January 1794

To the United States Senate and House of Representatives

United States January 7. 1794.

Gentlemen of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives.

I lay before you an Official statement of the expenditure to the end of the year 1793, from the sum of Ten thousand dollars, granted to defray the contingent expences of Government, by an Act passed on the 26th of March 1790.1

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LS, DNA: RG 46, Third Congress, 1793–95, Senate Records of Legislative Proceedings, President’s Messages; LB, DNA: RG 233, Third Congress, 1793–95, House Records of Legislative Proceedings, Journals.

1Section 3 of “An Act making appropriations for the support of government for the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety,” 26 March 1790, authorized the president to draw up to $10,000 from the treasury to defray contingent expenses of the government and required him to submit to Congress “a regular statement and account of such expenditures . . . at the end of the year” (Stat description begins Richard Peters, ed. The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America, from the Organization of the Government in 1789, to March 3, 1845 . . .. 8 vols. Boston, 1845-67. description ends . 1:105).

According to the enclosed statement, prepared at the Register’s Office of the Treasury Department on 31 Dec. 1793, $8 was paid on 26 Feb. 1793 to “Warrant No. 2496 in favour of William Laurance Attorney for Lewis R. Morris, Marshall for the District of Vermont being for so much paid by the Marshall to James Bowtell for making and engraving a Seal for the said District as per Account of the said Bowtell filed in the Registers Office and which the President of the United States has directed to be paid out of the ten thousand Dollars Appropriated agreeably to a Resolution of Congress of the 2nd August 1790.” On 6 June 1793, $140 was paid to “Warrant No. 2823 in favour of James Seagrove being for his Expences whilst on Public Business by Order of the President of the United States to the Spanish Government of East Florida.”

As of 31 Dec. 1793, the remaining balance in this account was $8,154.50 (DNA: RG 46, Third Congress, 1793–95, Senate Records of Legislative Proceedings, Committee Reports and Papers). The seal made by Vermont artisan James Bowtell, of Charlestown, Vt., was for the use of the District Court in that state (Alexander Hamilton to Tobias Lear, 26 Feb. 1793). On James Seagrove’s mission and GW’s authorization to pay his expenses, see Hamilton to Lear, 25 May 1793, notes 1 and 2; and JPP description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed. The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797. Charlottesville, Va., 1981. description ends , 155.

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