On April 29, 1812, the American House of Representatives debated a resolution to purchase barrels of flour to aid the victims of the earthquake of Caracas, Venezuela. The resolution passes and will become the first foreign aid bill of the United States. Venezuela had suffered a powerful earthquake on March 26, 1812 measuring about 7.7 in magnitude. The earthquake caused extensive damage in Caracas, La Guaira, Barquisimeto, San Felipe, and Mérida with an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 dead.
The House did not support a simultaneous proposal to send relief to the island of Tenerife of the Canary Islands where a locusts were causing a famine. That part of the resolution was defeated.