Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to Sharp Delany, 2 December 1790

To Sharp Delany

Treasury Department
Dec. 2. 1790


I have received this morning your letter1 in answer to mine of the 19th. ultimo2 from which I find that Messrs. Willing Morris & Swanwick’s3 bond given for duties on goods imported from Rhode Island on the 1st. of June, falls due this day.

The Legislature having declared that the Section of the act to regulate the Collection of duties, which subjected foreign goods from N. Carolina & Rhode Island to impost “did by virtue of the adoption of the constitution cease to operate”4 in respect to N. Carolina, the operation of that act must also have ceased in respect to Rhode Island on the 29th. of May, when the constitution was adopted by the Convention of that State. It is therefore my opinion that any bond given for duties on goods entered into your district after the 29th. of May is considered null. It is however necessary that satisfactory proof be adduced to you that such goods were imported into the State of Rhode Island prior to that day.

I am, Sir, Your obedt. servant

Alexander Hamilton

Sharp Delany Esq.

LS, MS Division, New York Public Library.

2Letter not found.

3The Philadelphia firm of Thomas Willing, Robert Morris, and John Swanwick.

4“An Act for giving effect to the several acts therein mentioned, in respect to the state of North Carolina, and other purposes” (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America (Boston, 1845). description ends 99–101 [February 8, 1790]).

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