Alexander Hamilton Papers

Enclosure: Schedule K, [9 January 1790]


Estimate of the Probable Product of the Funds Proposed for Funding the Debt and Providing for the Current Service of the United States, Including the Present Duties on Imports and Tonnage.

Probable product of the duties on imports and tonnage, according to the acts of the last session,
Including the State of North-Carolina, this estimate may be said to correspond with the statement made by the committee of ways and means during the last session; which statement the Secretary is inclined to think is as near the truth as can be now obtained.
In the preceding estimate are comprehended wines, distilled spirits, teas, and coffee, amounting to about  600,000
Which being deducted, leaves 1,200,000
From which deducting 5 per cent for expence of collection,   60,000
Leaves nett product, 1,140,000
Probable Product of Duties Proposed
1,000,000 gallons wine, at 20 cents, 200,000
4,000,000 gallons distilled spirits, at 20 800,000
 700,000 pounds bohea tea, at 12 84,000
 800,000 pounds souchong and other black teas, at 20 160,000
 100,000 pounds green tea, average at 25 25,000
1,600,000 pounds coffee, at  5 80,000
Made in the United States.
3,500,000 gallons distilled spirits from foreign materials, at 11 cents,
3,000,000 ditto, distilled from materials of the United States, at 9 cents,  270,000
Deduct for drawbacks, and expence of collection, 15 per cent.  300,600 1,703,400
Dollars, 2,843,400

140H may have taken some of this data from a letter from William Constable to Gouverneur Morris, December 6, 1788, a copy of which is in the Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress. Constable compiled estimates of imports which were higher than those drawn up by a Continental Congress committee in 1783. This committee, of which H was a member, calculated on the basis of pre-war importations the yield of a five percent impost, but Constable asserted that the committee understated the actual quantities (see JCC description begins Journals of the Continental Congress, 1784–1789 (Washington, 1904–1937). description ends , XXIV, 287).

Constable computed the imports as follows:

Wine 1,000,000 gallons
Distilled Spirits 4,000,000   “
Bohea Tea 1,000,000 lbs.
Hyson Tea  125,000 “
Coffee and Cocoa 1,500,000 “
Molasses 3,000,000 gallons

Index Entries