George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Leamy, 30 April 1794

From John Leamy

Philadelphia April 30th 1794.

The Memorial of John Leamy, merchant and Citizen of the United States respectfully sheweth

That the said John Leamy has Property to the Amount of Sixty thousand Dollars now lying at the Havana, ariseing from shipments made from this Port, & only waiting proper conveyances to bring it hither, but that no Vessells are expected from that Port by which his said Property may be remitted to him.

That if the United States be forced into a War while so much of his Property remains out of his reach, your Memorialist’s total ruin must be the inevitable consequence.

That he has a ship now lying in this Port, the Mary, Henry Stephens Master, burthen Two Hundred & nine Tons, which he wishes leave to send to Ballast to the Havana for the sole purpose of bringing home his said Property.1

Your Memorialist therefore prays that you will be pleased to take the foregoing circumstances into consideration & to grant him Permission to send out his said Vessell for the purpose aforesaid under such restrictions as you shall think proper to direct and your memorialist as in duty bound will for ever pray.2

John Leamy

ALS, DNA: RG 59, Petitions for Pardon.

1According to the congressional resolve of 26 March, an embargo was placed on “all ships and vessels in the ports of the United States . . . bound to any foreign port” (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 . 1:400). Leamy, therefore, could not send the Mary to Havana, Cuba, to retrieve his property.

2GW forwarded this memorial to Edmund Randolph, who then wrote Alexander Hamilton and Henry Knox for their opinions (Hamilton Papers description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends , 16:370).

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