Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to Peter Anspach, 2 December 1790

To Peter Anspach1

Treasury Department
Dec. 2. 1790.


Being desirous to carry into execution the intentions of the legislature in regard to the Claims upon the department of the late Quarter Master general,2 it is my wish, if agreeable to you, that you should undertake the business of collecting the documents, of receiving the claims and of stating them from time to time in returns that shall comprehend a number of them to the Auditor of the Treasury. For this purpose I am disposed to appoint you a Clerk in this department, with an allowance as limited by law, at the rate of five hundred dollars per annum, while you shall be employed. On the admission of any one of the statements you shall make, it is proposed to place in your hands a sum of money adequate to its discharge, in order that you may pay the individuals. You will be expected to account regularly for the money by furnishing proper receipts, shewing its application & exonerating the United States.

I shall confide in due exertions & dispatch on your part to accommodate the individuals, and to shorten as much as possible the extra charge to the public. This will not only be a satisfaction to yourself, but may have its effect in recommending you to future notice.

I am, Sir, Your obedt. servant

Alex Hamilton

Mr. Peter Anspach
New York.

LS, Essex Institute, Salem, Massachusetts; copy, RG 217, Miscellaneous Treasury Accounts, 1790–1894, Account No. 6595, National Archives.

1For background to this document, see “Report on Additional Sums Necessary for the Support of the Government,” August 5, 1790.

During the Revolution Anspach had served as assistant quartermaster general.

2“An Act making certain appropriations therein mentioned” (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America (Boston, 1845). description ends 185–86 [August 12, 1790]) provided “That there be appropriated to the purposes herein after mentioned, to be paid out of the monies arising from the duties on goods, wares and merchandise imported, and on the tonnage of ships or vessels, the following sums.… The sum of forty thousand dollars, towards discharging certain debts contracted by colonel Timothy Pickering, late quartermaster general, and which sum was included in the amount of a warrant drawn in his favour by the late superintendent of the finances of the United States. and which warrant was not discharged…”

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