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Indemnity to the Estate of General Greene.
The engagenjent by John Banks to General
Philadelphia, Jan. 16, 1798. Greene and his creditors, that the money which Sir: The account you left me, dated Charles. should become due to him on the contract should ton, April 7, 1784, signed John Banks, purporting be applied to the payment of the debts for which to be an account current between me and the said General Greene was surety, having been long pre- John Banks, and stating a balance in his favor of vious to the negotiation under which the petitioner $16,119 11, with an assignment on the back of it, claims, it appears to the committee that those who transferring the right to receive the balance to claim under General Greene and said creditors Mr. James Miller, was presented to me in or about have clearly the best right to all moneys which the year 1784, and the balance demanded by the may remain due on said contract account; and said Mr. Miller, or by you as his transferee, to thai the United States' having indemnified the es- whom I paid such balance as appeared to be due tate of General Greene for the engagements en- from me to Mr. Banks. But the balance so paid tered into by him as aforesaid, all right to this was, to the best of my remembrance, not more money which was in General Greene, on the said than between fifteen and sixteen hundred dollars, creditors
, whose debts they have paid. must be owing to several items in the account subsisting considered as vested in the United States. between us, which do not appear in the account
Indeed, laying aside the consideration of the above described and alluded to. order by John Banks to apply the contract money Mr. Banks was the contractor for supplying the to the payment of those debts, the committee con- Southern army with provisions, and as he was to ceive that, as the debt which the United States receive payments from the Treasury, in Philaowed to John Banks was not assignable in its delphia, at stated periods after furnishing accounts original nature, or made so by any subsequent of the issues of provisions, he authorized me, by agreement of the United States, they are entitled power of attorney, to receive the money for him. to retain it in part payment of the debt which has On sending forward the accounts, he usually since become due to them from John Banks. debited me with the amount. I passed the money
Whereupon the committee submit, for the con- to his credit when I received it. Hence a differsideration of the House, the following resolution, ence appeared in our respective accounts, as some to wit:
deductions were occasionally made at the TreaResolved, That the accounting officers of the sury from his demands. One of thc most mateTreasury cause the sum of $9,768 81, charged to rial of the items which occasioned the variance the contract account of John Banks on the 31st arose from a charge made by the Superintendent day of December, 1783, to be credited to the said of Finance for a balance said to be due from John Banks; and that the sum so credited be Major Burnett, amounting, with interest charged charged to the accounts of such other person as, upon it, to $9,768 81. I refused in behalf of Mr. in their opinion, shall be justly chargeable there- Banks, to admit this as a charge against him as with ; and that they charge the said contract ac-contractor. But it was said that Major Burnett count with all such sums as have been paid by was his partner, and that Mr. Banks and he might the United States, 10 indemnify the estate of settle the matter. I persisted in opposing the General Greene for debts by him paid, or secured charge, as well for the reason above suggested, to be paid, of the said John Banks, or of John that Mr. Banks alone was the contractor, as by Banks & Co.
denying that such balance was due from Major Burnett. But the Superintendent, having the
power in his own hands. stopped the money out CHARLESTON, April 7, 1784.
of the contract accounts, of which I gave early I, John Banks, by these presents, do make and notice to Mr. Banks. constitute James Miller my assignee in and to The balance claimed from Major Burnett arose what money and other profit which shall be found from public bills of exchange iransmitted from due to me upon the result of final adjusting and General Greene to me for sale, of which Major settlement of the within account between Charles Burnett was the bearer; but this transaction was Pettit and me: hereby constituting and appoint previous 10 his connexion in business with Mr. ing the said James Miller in my full right and Banks, or even an acquaintance with him. The place of the premises, for now and ever, with balance arising from the sale of the bills was repower to uplift, discharge, and pursue for the tained in my hands by permission of General same, transact thereanent, and to do everything Greene, and credited as so much public money in I might have done myself before granting this as- the account of the then late Quartermaster Genesignation ; which assignation I bind and oblige ral's Department, and accounted for accordingly myself
, my heirs, and executors, 10 warrant to in the settlement of General Greene's accounts as the said James Miller, his heirs and executors, Quartermaster General. So that neither Major from all facts and deeds done and to be done by Burnett nor Mr. Banks remain chargeable with it me or my aforesaids prejudicial thereto. by the United States. I am, respectfully, sir,
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my your most obedient servant, hand and seal this 7th day of April, one thousand
CHARLES PETTIT. seven hundred and eighty-four.
PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 26, 1798.
Indemnity to the Estate of General Greene.
attended at the office of the Auditor of the Treasury, in the Winter of the year 1789-'90, and presented to me his claim against the United States for a balance due on a contract with John Banks, and assigned by him to James Miller, with vouchers.
OLIVER WOLCOTT, late Auditor of the Treasury.
1783, To Turnbull's draught on Turnbull & Co.,
$1 348 46
3.245 46 To warrant for April issues,
20,854 60 To account for May and June issues,
Mr. James Miller, in his letter of September 11, 1792, to Mr. H. Hill, says, Mr. Pettit convinced him that the balance was only about $9,600. (Errors excepted.)
JOHN BANKS. Charleston, April 7, 1784.
New Emission Bills.
NEW EMISSION BILLS.
The Secretary of the Treasury, in his report of
the 16th of January, 1795, recommended that such [Communicated to the House of Representatives, Feb- of these bills as had been exhibited at the Treasruary 26, 1798.]
ury, in pursuance of the act entitled “ An act re
lative to claims against the United States not Mr. Dwight Foster, from the Committee of Claims, barred by any act of limitation, and which had
to whom were referred the petitions of Joseph Ball, not been already adjusted,” amounting to the sum William Henderson, W. and F. Constable, Samuel of $90,574 should be provided for by taking the Ward, and Nathaniel Prime ; and of Jeremiah Allen, principal sum of them, without interest, on loan John Marston, Joseph Ward, Daniel. Austin, and at five per cent., payable quarter-yearly, redeemaWilliam Dana, for themselves and others, holders ble at the pleasure of the United States, and payof bills of credit issued pursuant to a resolution of a ble in thirty years; he remarks "that the resoluCongress of the 18th of March, 1780, commonly called tions of Congress, and the endorsement upon those "new emission bills,” made the following report :
bills, engage the absolute promise of the United That a statement of the case of the holders of States for the payment of the interest indefinitebills of this description is contained in a report of !y. and their eventual guaranty of the principal, the accounting officers of the Treasury, made on in case any State on whose funds the bills should the 24th day of December, 1795, in pursuance of be emitted, should, by the events of war, be renan act entitled “ An act relative to claims against dered incapable to redeem them; which is, in the United States, not barred by any act of limita- effect, though not in form, an absolute guaranty tion, and which have not been already adjusted,” of the principal; for the United States are bound in the words following, to wit:
to pay the interest perpetually till that is dis"Class 8. The claims of this class are founded charged. on bills of credit commonly called bills of the new “Good faith demands that the United States emissions, issued on the funds of individual States, should supply the omissions of the States which pursuant to an act of Congress of the 18th of issued the bills, by providing, themselves, at least March, 1780. The following clause of the said for the interest' upon them; but it is not as easy
shows in what eve the United States were to pronounce on what terms they ought to be proto become answerable for the payment of these vided for. bills: “that the said new bills issue on the funds ' On their face, and according to the unrevoked of individual States for that purpose established, resolutions of Congress, they are of specie value and be signed by persons appointed by them; and equal to their nominal amount, bearing five per that the faith of the United States be also pledged cent. interest. for the payment of the said bills, in case any State " But it is known that they were issued by difon whose funds they shall be emitted, should, by ferent States at different inferior values fixed by the events of war, be rendered incapable of re- previous laws. deeming them.
· The true nature of the contract, therefore, and “ The interest accruing on them was to have the true equity of the case, are, from these cirbeen paid by the United States annually, if called cumstances, involved in some question.” for, in bills of exchange on Europe, and the amount The proposition of the Secretary on this subcharged to the States, respectively. It does not ject was not adopted by Congress. appear, however, that any such payments were It is a fact notorious that these bills sunk in the made.
same vortex of depreciation with the old Conti“It is understood that the several States con- pental bills, and, while they continued to circucerned have passed laws providing for the redemp- late, were generally of the ratio of forty of the tion of their respective portions of this money, old for one of the new. and it is presumable that the far greater part This unfortunate depreciation, which operated thereof has been redeemed accordingly. The bills upon all the paper money, notes, and certificates, isfor which payment is now claimed are chiefly of sued during the war, necessitated the United States those issued by the States of New Hampshire, to adopt principles relative to them, which cannot Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.
apply in cases of ordinary contract; the States, “This species of paper has never been consid- individually, have assumed similar privileges; and, ered as forming any part of the debt of the Uni- in making provision for the bills in question, in ted States."
some instances have considered them as a depreIn the various arrangements which have been ciated currency. made since the establishment of the present Gov- The committee are informed that all the States ernment, relative to the debt of the United States, who issued bills of this description have already no provision has ever been made for these bills: made provision for their redemption, either at they appear, from the face of them, to be evidences their nominal amount, or at a certain rate of deof debt against the States individually who had preciation, except the State of Rhode Island; and issued them, and could not be provided for by the they think it is fairly to be presumed that the United States, without raising a charge against States have made as liberal a provision as the nathose States; and it was reasonably to be presum- lure of the case demanded. ed that the States concerned would make such The United States have once made allowances provision as the justice and equity of the case re- to the several States in settlement of their acquired.
counts for the supplies for which those bills were
Lost Certificates— Invalid Pensions. issued; should they make any further provision, cific restrictions, for the renewal of destroyed certhey must consider the several States as indebted tificates of certain descriptions. to them for the amount of such provision.
The committee made a report againt the measFrom an attentive consideration of all the cir- ure proposed. cumstances of this case, which the committee It was justly stated by them, “that most of the have endeavored fully to examine and present to cases where certificates of the public debt are said the view of the House, they are of opinion that it to have been destroyed, took place before the passwill not be expedient for Congress to make any ing of the said act of the 24th of April, 1794, and provision for the payment of said bills; they, probably a great proportion of them before the therefore, recommend that the petitioners, respect- passing of the said resolution of the 10th of May, ively, have leave to withdraw their petitions. 1780; from which circumstance, as well as the
nature of the subject, it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, at this time. to guard
against fraud and imposition, should further proLOST CERTIFICATES.
vision be made for renewing them.” That com
mittee further stated, “that they could not find [Communicated to the House of Representatives, March stronger reasons in favor of keeping in force the 9, 1798.]
statutes of limitation, in relation to any class of Mr. Dwight Foster, from the Committee of Claims, I tion referred to them; they were therefore, of
claims, than to that contemplated in the resoluto whom were referred the memorials and petitions of George P. Frost
, Charles Jackson, Gassaway Wat- opinion that the House ought not to agree to the kins, George Read, Thomas Underwood, Jabez Hall, full and deliberate discussion, was agreed to by
same.” That report was considered, and, after a Grove Pomeroy, Alexander Roxburg, and Philip
the House. Bush, made the following report :
The committee do not find any reasons which That these petitioners severally seek to obtain will apply with more force, if so powerfully, in renewals or compensation for loan office certifi- favor of provision being made for quartermasters' cates, final settlements
, and quartermasters' cer- certificates, land warrants, and lottery tickets, than tificates, land warrants, and loitery tickets, which for the other kinds of certificates. they allege they once possessed, and which are
Precedents have been already thus established severally stated to be accidentally lost or de- by authority, which the commitiee feel themselves stroyed.
bound to respect. The resolutions of Congress of the 10th of May,
They apprehend thc House would not adopt and of the 18th of July, 1780, provided for the re- principles in these cases different from those which newal of loan office certificates destroyed through influenced on former like occasions; and thereaccident, and prescribed the terms on which such upon they respectfully submit, as their opinion, certificates might be renewed. By the act of Congress of the 24th of April, be granted.
that the several petitions aforesaid ought not to 1794, entitled "An act limiting the time for presenting claims for destroyed certificates of certain descriptions," the provisions in case of loan office certificates were extended to final setilements;
INVALID PENSIONS. and further regulations were made respecting the renewal of certificates of each of those descriptions. By the same law it was expressly enacted, [Communicated to the House of Representatives, March that all claims for the renewal of such certificates
26, 1798.] should be forever barred and precluded from set- Mr. Dwight Foster, from the Committee of Claims, tlement or allowance, unless the same should be to whom was referred a motion in the following words, presented at the Treasury on or before the 1st day to wit : “ Resolved, That a committee be appointed of June, 1795.
to inquire whether any, and if any what, amendments No provision appears to have been made, at any ought to be made in the acts respecting invalid pentime, by the United States, for the renewal of sioners," having examined the several laws relative quartermasters' certificates, land warrants, or lot- to that subject, and taken the same into consideration, tery tickets.
submit the following report : A great number of applications, similar to those As early as the 26th day of August, 1776, Concontained in the petitions now under considera-gress adopted resolutions by which commissioned tion, have been heretofore made to Congress, both and non-commissioned officers and private soldiers before and since the passage of the act above men in the army, commanders, commission and wartioned.
rant officers, marines, and seamen, of any of the That committee do not find that provision has, vessels of war or armed vessels belonging to the in any instance, been made, other than by the United States, wounded or disabled in the service, general regulations and law above referred to. were, under the restrictions and limitations ex
At the last session of the last Congress, a select pressed in said resolutions, to be placed on the committee was appointed for the express purpose pension list, and provided for at the public exof considering and reporting on a motion then pense. made relative to a provision, by law, under spe- At various periods afterwards, in the course of
the war, we find Congress making divers provis- respond with the degree of their disability com. ions and arrangements for the officers and troops pared with that of a non-commissioned officer or of the United States, as well those wounded and private wholly disabled. disabled as others.
4. That each State appoint one or more persons Upon the 7th June, 1785, some time after peace of suitable abilities to examine all claimants, and had been established and the army disbanded, the to report whether the person producing a certifisubject appears to have been particularly under cate setting forth that he is an invalid, be such in the consideration of Congress. Divers resolutions fact, and, if such, to what pay he is entitled ; and regulating claims to military pensions, and allow thereupon the persons appointed to make such ining officers to return their commutation, were quiry, shall give to the invalid a certificate, specithen adopted. Among others which passed on fying to what pay he is entitled, and transmit a that day, we find the following, which are se- copy to the person who may be appointed by the lected as designating the principles on which State to receive and record the same. grants of this kind were made, to wit:
5. That each State be authorized to pay to the Resolved, That it be, and it is hereby, recom- commissioned officers, non-commissioned officers, mended to the several States to make provision and privates, the sum or sums to which they shall for officers, soldiers, or seamen who have been be respectively entitled, agreeably to the beforedisabled in the service of the United States, in mentioned certificates; the said payments to be the following manner :
deducted from the respective quoias of the States 1. A complete list shall be made out by such for the year on which they shall be made: Properson or persons as each State shall direct, of all vided, That no officer who has accepted his comthe officers, soldiers, or seamen, resident in their mutation for half-pay shall be entered on the list respective States, who have served in the Army of invalids, unless he shall have first returned his or Navy, of the United States, or in the militia in commutation. the service of the United Staies, and have been
Upon the 14th of September, 1786, to remedy disabled in such service, so as to be incapable of inconveniences experienced by some officers apply. military duty, or of obtaining a livelihood by ing for pensions, who had sold their commutation labor. In this list shall be expressed the pay, age, certificates, Congress resolved" that invalid offiand disability of each invalid; also the regiment, cers be permitted to return their commulation in corps. or ship to which he belonged ; and a copy yther securities of the United States, where they of the same shall be transmitted to the office of have parted with their own, provided the same the Secretary of War, within one year after each shall be of equal amount, and bearing the same State shall pass a law for this purpose ; and a like interest.” Upon the 12th of July, 1787, a further descriptive list of the invalids resident in the re- provision was made that all officers in the line spective States shall, from year to year, be annu- of the late army entitled to pensions in pursuance ally transmitted to the office of the Secretary of of the acts of Congress in that behalf made, War.
should, previous to the receipt of such pension, 2. No officer, soldier, or seaman shall be con charge the same in the State in which they reside,
deposite with the proper officers appointed to dissidered as an invalid or entitled to pay, unless he
a certificate from the Commissioner of Army Accan produce a certificate from the commanding counts, purporting that no balance was due from officer or surgeon of the regiment, ship, corps, or the claimants to the United States." company in which he served, or from a physician or surgeon of a military hospital, or other good gress, under the old Government, relative to the in
The last important regulation made by Conand sufficient testimony, setting forth his disabili- valid establishment, was on the 11th of June, 1788. ty, and that he was thus disabled while in the On that day Congress resolved, " that each State service of the United States.
should have credit in its general account with 3. That all commissioned officers within the the United States for such sums as became due aforesaid description, disabled in the service of to invalids before the 1st day of January, 1782, the United States, so as to be wholly incapable of and which had been, or should be paid to them military duty, or of obtaining a livelihood, be by the State; and for such sums as became due allowed a yearly pension equal to half of their tó invalids before the said 1st day of January, pay, respectively; and all commissioned officers, 1782, inclusive, to the 1st day of January, 1788, as aforesaid, who shall not have been disabled in and which had been, or should be paid to them so great a degree, be allowed a yearly pension, by any State, the State should have credit in the which shall correspond with the degree of their existing specie requisitions of Congress; and for disability compared with that of an officer whol- sums that might so become due after January, ly disabled ; that all non-commissioned officers 1788, and be paid by any State, the State should and privates within the aforesaid description, dis- have credit in the specie requisitions of Congress abled in the service of the United States, so as to which might thereafter be made." be wholly incapable of military or garrison duty, They further resolved, that no person should be or of obtaining a livelihood by labor, be allowed entitled to a pension as an invalid, who had not, a sum not exceeding five dollars per month; and or should not, before the expiration of six months all non-commissioned fficers and privates, as from that time, make application therefor, and aforesaid, who shall not have been disabled in so produce the requisite certificates and evidence to great a degree, be allowed such a sum as shall cor entitle him thereto.