Mayor's Office, New York, February 12, 1885
Hon. Edward V. Lowe, Comptroller
On the 22nd of April, 1861, the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of the City of New York, in Common Council convened, adopted an ordinance appropriating one million dollars ($1,000,000) for the purpose of procuring the necessary equipments and outfits of soldiers who enlisted in the service of the State under a requisition by the President of the United States, and for aid and support of their families.
This sum was disbursed by the "Union Defence Committee of the City of New York," which consisted of the Mayor and other officials and a number of prominent citizens.
The General Government [federal], of this sum, repaid:
On October 19,1861...... $66,793.25
On May 12, 1862........... $40,215.50
Leaving a balance due...$892,991.25
Which with accumulations of interest will make a large sum which should be restored to the City Treasury.
I am informed that the Board of Alderman in 1866 and again in 1869 memorialized Congress with a view to legislation on the subject.
I desire to be put in possession of all the facts in possession of your department, to the end that I may recommend to the Board of Alderman such appropriate action as may be advisable to secure repayment of the balance due to the city.
The Government has reimbursed all advances, I believe, to the several State governments, and may do so in this instance with a municipal government.
W. R. Grace
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To date New York City has never been reimbursed for its contributions in defense of the Union.