Treasury Department Circular
to the Collectors of the Customs
Treasury Department Jany 27th. 1790
The adoption of the Constitution of the United States by the state of North Carolina,1 having raised a question concerning the operation of the 39th. Section of the Collection bill2 and the 3d. Section of the Act for suspending part of that Act3 and for other purposes; it is incumbent upon me to give my opinion upon the subject; which is, that they were virtually repealed by that adoption.
Among other reasons for this opinion, is that article of the Constitution which declares that all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.
I am Sir Your Obedt. servant
Secy of the Treasy
LS, to Charles Lee, Charles Lee Papers, Library of Congress; L[S] Office of the Secretary, United States Treasury Department; copy, United States Finance Miscellany, Treasury Circulars, Library of Congress; copy, RG 56, Circulars of the Office of the Secretary, “Set T,” National Archives.
1. The North Carolina convention ratified the Constitution on November 21, 1789.
2. “An Act to regulate the Collection of the Duties imposed by law on the tonnage of ships or vessels, and on goods, wares and merchandises imported into the United States” (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America (Boston, 1845). description ends 29–49 [July 31, 1789]). Section 39 reads:
“Be it therefore further enacted, That all goods, wares and merchandise not of their own growth or manufacture, which shall be imported from either of the said two States of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, or North Carolina, into any other port or place within the limits of the United States, as settled by the late treaty of peace, shall be subject to the like duties, seizures and forfeitures, as goods, wares or merchandise imported from any State or country without the said limits.”
3. “An Act to suspend part of an Act, intituled ‘An Act to regulate the collection of the Duties imposed by Law on the Tonnage of Ships or Vessels, and on Goods, Wares, and Merchandises, imported into the United States,’ and for other purposes” (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America (Boston, 1845). description ends 69–70 [September 16, 1789]). Section 3 reads:
“And be it further enacted, That all rum, loaf sugar, and chocolate, manufactured or made in the states of North Carolina, or Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, and imported or brought into the United States, shall be deemed and taken to be, subject to the like duties, as goods of the like kinds, imported from any foreign state, kingdom or country, are made subject to.”