George Washington to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, 8 February 1792

To the United States Senate and House of Representatives

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

An article of expence having occurred in the department of foreign affairs for which no provision has been made by law, I lay before you a letter from the Secretary of State explaining the same, in order that you may do thereon what you shall find to be right.1

Go: Washington

DS, DNA: RG 46, Second Congress, 1791–1793, Records of Legislative Proceedings, President’s Messages; LB, DLC:GW; LB, DNA: RG 233, Second Congress, 1791–1793, Records of Legislative Proceedings, Journals.

  1. GW enclosed Thomas Jefferson’s letter to him of 7 Feb. 1792 with the account of expenses claimed by John Brown Cutting for his assistance to American seamen impressed into British service. In the absence of complete supporting documentation, Congress made no provision to compensate fully Cutting’s claims. On 7 May 1792 the House of Representatives did pass a bill by a vote of 23–22 authorizing a payment of $2,000. The Senate concurred, and GW signed “An Act concerning the Claim of John Brown Cutting against the United States” on 8 May (Annals of Congress, 2d Cong., 1st sess., 83–84, 137–38, 396–97, 598; 6 Stat. 10). Jefferson instructed Thomas Pinckney on 11 June 1792 to assist Cutting in compiling documentation for the balance of his claim (Jefferson Papers, 24:59–64). Cutting later unsuccessfully pressed his claim with Secretary of State Timothy Pickering (see Cutting, Facts and Observations, Justifying the Claims of John Browne Cutting, Citizen of the United States, against the United States; in a Letter Addressed to the Secretary of State [Philadelphia, 1795]).

The Papers of George Washington Digital Edition. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, Rotunda, 2008.