George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Israel Chapin, 14 March 1794

From Israel Chapin

Albany [N.Y.] March 14th 1794.


When I was in Philadelphia in December last Mr Jefferson gave me a copy of a letter from Charles Williamson one of the Judges of the Court of Common pleas of the County of Ontario dated the 26th Novr 1793 and also a Copy of an affidavit of George Rankin taken before him relative to a seizure of some property belonging to him and two others and desired me to Communicate to your excellency such information as I could collect on the subject1—I have made enquiry and from the information that I have been able to obtain I have every reason to believe that the seizure was in consequence of some misconduct on the part of Rankin and that his intention was to Elude the vigilence of the British revenue officers and get his goods to Niagara free from the Duty for they were found concealed—part of the Cargo consisted of Iron and it was sunk not far from the shore—I therefore am not indu[c]ed to believe that there is any just ground of complaint in this instance but shall use every diligence to discover any outrage that may be committed on the property or persons of the inhabitants of the united states in this quarter—I have the honor Sir to be with the greatest respect your most obident and very humble Servant

Israel Chapin

ALS, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters (filed in 1795).

1For the letter from Charles Williamson to Thomas Jefferson of 26 Nov. 1793 and affidavit of the same date by George Rankin, see Jefferson Papers, description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. 40 vols. to date. Princeton, N.J., 1950–. description ends , 27: 447-49. Williamson also enclosed the affidavit with a letter to George Clinton of the same date, and Clinton forwarded that letter and affidavit with his letter to GW of 19 Dec. 1793.

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