George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Thomas Mifflin, 27 June 1796

Philadelphia June 27th 1796


I have the honor to inclose, for your Excellency’s information, the copy of a Report from the Resident Physician of the Health Office of Philadelphia, and to request, that you will direct such co-operative measures, on the part of the Officers of the United States, as may effectually counteract the danger, which is apprehended from vessels holding an intercourse with the shores of New-Jersey, in evasion of the Quarantine prescribed under the authority of the laws of this State. I am, with perfect respect Sir Your Excellency’s Most obedient humble Servant

Tho. Mifflin

MHi: Timothy Pickering Papers.


Health Office State Island June 27th 1796.


I wish to know whether the Vessels from Bermuda and the Bahama Islands may be permitted to pass up to the City without performing Quarantine provided all are healthy on board. The Inspectors of the Health Office last year, granted this exemption to Vessels from the above places; upon the ground that the first of them is not considered among the West India Islands, and that the second is generally so healthy, that no risque could be suffered from an intercourse with them. The Cargoes likewise being generally of fruit, it was thought a hardship unnecessarily severe, to detain them. There is now a Sloop from Providence arrived this morning, with fruit on board; and the Captain assures me, if he is obliged to remain here five days, the whole will rott, as fifteen days will then have elapsed since they have been taken in; and they already have began to decay in great numbers.

I submit to you the propriety of exempting Vessels from the above places, from the general order. Since that has been enforced, no person has been permitted to come to this place, for fear of the same abuses, which were practised last year; but some of the Masters of Vessels when I informed them, all were to remain on board, until the expiration of the quarantine, denied the authority of our State laws, in respect to preventing them from going to Jersey; and tho’ it is clear to me, they are under the laws of Pennsylvania, which they bound to obey, yet having no means to prevent their intercourse with that State, I can only answer for keeping them from our side.

The following Vessels are now in quarantine and set down in the order they arrived.

Sloop Nabby, Bingham, Bermuda.

Brig Nymph, Sullivan, Jeremie,

Brig Amicable Matilda, Paul, Havanna,

Brig Anne, Maffet, Gonaives.

Sloop Lurania Stewart St Croix

Sloop Rebecca Lewis—N. Providence.

All well. I am with great respect Sir,

The Resident Physician

James Mease

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