George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Reuben Harvey, 17 April 1794

From Reuben Harvey

Cork [Ireland] 17th April 1794

Respected Friend

I took this liberty last Month by way of Baltimore, And I am sorry that a similar cause for troubling thee has so soon occurr’d at Kinsale, where a fine Philadelphia Ship, the Molly Capt. Farrel, having put in the 3d Curr[en]t to procure Bread & Beef, has been detain’d by Lieut. Govr Brown, on suspicion that her valuable Cargoe of 450 pipes Brandy, 150 Casks of Wine & Vinegar, & other Articles, is the property of the Convention;1 Seven of her Crew were press’d & afterwards by threats & cajolings induced to enter, And the Master of the Molly is threaten’d with Jail unless he pays these Men what Money appears to be due them; The Brig Hannah & Cargoe have been orderd to proceed to Falmouth, & it is probable that the British Government will give the same orders respecting the Molly;2 I exceedingly regret that no Consul had been sent to Ireland when War commenced ’twixt Great Britain & France, as that Event alone must necessarily produce many instances wherein the interposition of a Native Consul would be wanted; Indeed it is surprizing that this Measure has been so long omitted.3 The Molly’s Cargoe is mark’d DM & consign’d to Daniel Marian Mercht at Newyork, The Ship belongs to Philip Care Mercht at Philadelphia, She carry’d 4500 barrels of flour from Baltimore to Nants & Bordeaux last Summer:4 I shall not trouble thee farther on this Subject, but just to say that your Envoy at London never answer’d the letters I wrote him concerning the Hannah, which was not kind, as I had no other Motive therein than regard for America.5 With sincere regard I remain Thy affte. Friend

Reuben Harvey

ALS, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; LS (identified as “1st Coppy”), RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; LS (identified as “2d Coppy”), RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters. Postal stamps on the ALS read “June 1⟨7⟩” and “FREE.” A notation on the cover of the ALS reads, “Newyork 14 June 1794 recd under cover & forwarded by Sir your very Hble servant W. Wilson.” William Wilson, a New York City merchant at 217 Pearl Street, may have forwarded this letter (New-York Directory, 1794 description begins William Duncan. The New-York Directory, and Register, for the year 1794 . . . . New York, 1794. description ends , 206). The docket, which probably was added at the Department of State, reads, “recd 28th June.”

1The National Convention was the governing body of the French Republic from September 1792 until October 1795.

2In his letter to GW of 3 March, Harvey had written about the retention of the Hannah and three other ships, all carrying cargoes of brandy and all having set sail from the French port of Bordeaux (Philadelphia Gazette and Universal Daily Advertiser, 17 Feb.).

3The post of consul at Dublin had been vacant since the departure of William Knox in 1792. GW nominated Joseph Wilson for the post on 28 May (Senate Executive Journal description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America: From the commencement of the First, to the termination of the Nineteenth Congress. Vol. 1. Washington, D.C., 1828. description ends , 158).

4Philadelphia merchant Philip Care was located at 15 South Water Street (Philadelphia Directory 1794 description begins James Hardie. The Philadelphia Directory and Register . . .. Philadelphia, 1794. description ends , 22).

5On Harvey’s letters to Thomas Pinckney, the U.S. minister plenipotentiary to Great Britain, see Harvey to GW, 3 March. Upon receipt of this letter, GW forwarded it to Secretary of State Edmund Randolph (GW to Randolph, 25 June, DLC:GW). GW also forwarded one of the copies to Randolph on 12 July (JPP description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed. The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797. Charlottesville, Va., 1981. description ends , 312).

Index Entries