Martin van Buren photo

Special Message

February 28, 1838

To the House of Representatives of the United States:

I transmit a copy and translation of a letter from Mr. Pontois, the minister plenipotentiary from France to this Government, addressed to the Secretary of State, and communicating a memorial to me from the trustees of the former house of Lafitte & Co., of Paris, complaining of the rejection of a claim preferred in behalf of that house before the commissioners under the convention with France of the 4th of July, 1831, and asking redress.

The commission created by the act for carrying that convention into effect has expired. The fund provided by it has been distributed among those whose claims were admitted. The Executive has no power over the subject. If the memorialists are entitled to relief, it can be granted by Congress alone, to whom, in compliance with the request of the trustees, that question is now submitted for decision.


Martin van Buren, Special Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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