Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Robert Morris, 2 July 1782

From Robert Morris

Office of Finance [Philadelphia] 2 July 1782


I yesterday received your Letter of the seventeenth of June and am very happy to find you have determined to accept the office I had the Pleasure of offering to you. I enclose the commission, Instructions &ca. together with a Bond for Performance of the Duties which I must request you to fill up, execute with some sufficient Surety and transmit.1 The complaint you make of the System of taxation, in New York might I beleive very justly be extended, for tho’ it may be more defective in some than in others it is I fear very far from perfect in any. I had already heard that no part of the Taxes were appropriated to continental Purposes, but I expect that the Legislature will when they meet make such appropriations as well as lay new and I hope Productive Taxes for the purposes of Paying what may remain of their quotas. It gives me a singular pleasure to find that you have yourself pointed out one of the principal objects of your appointment.2 You will find that it is specified in the Enclosure of the fifteenth of April.3 I do not conceive that any interview will be necessary, tho’ I shall always be happy to see you when your Leisure and convenience will admit. In the mean time I must request you to exert your talents in forwarding with your Legislature the Views of Congress.4 Your former situation in the Army, the present situation of that very army, your connections in the state, your perfect knowledge of men and measures, and the abilities which heaven has blessed you with will give you, a fine opportunity to forward the public service by convincing the Legislature of the necessity of copious supplies, and by convincing all who have claims on the Justice of Congress that those claims exist only by that hard Necessity which arises from the Negligence of the States. When to this you shall super add the conviction that what remains of the War being only a War of Finance solid arrangements of Finance must necessarily terminate favorably not only to our Hopes, but even to Our Wishes, then Sir the Governments will be disposed to lay and the people to bear those Burthens which ⟨are⟩ necessary, and then the Utility of your office, and of the Officer ⟨wil⟩l be as manifest to other’s as at present to me.

I am with perfect Respect    Your most obedient & Humble Servant

Robt Morris

Alexander Hamilton Esquire
Receiver of Taxes for New York

LS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress; LC, Robert Morris Papers, Library of Congress.

1The commission has not been found. The bond was returned to Morris. See H to Morris, July 22, 1782. The instructions probably included: Morris to H, February 12, 1782; Morris to H, April 15, 1782, and the enclosed warrant of the same date; and Morris to H, May 15, 1782.

2H had written Morris on June 17, 1782, that the most important aspect of his job would be to urge the state legislature to accept Morris’s recommendations.

3The enclosure was presumably the letter of April 15, 1782, referred to in note 1.

4The meeting of the New York legislature was scheduled for July, 1782.

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