From Sharp Delany [redated]
[Philadelphia, December 13–31, 1790]1
To save trouble & expence when the Wardens go on a Survey I generally agree to their appointment in behalf of the Office and although they are sworn ex Officio yet I always swear them in behalf of this Office according to Law. I inclose their survey & appraisement, deliverd to me in due time & ever since in my possession.
In respect to the lapse of time I imagined this business had been long since represented to you as appears by a note on one of my Returns. I have inquired of Mr Warder2 and he informs me the Teas are yet in being, and that as fair a valuation could now be made as in May or June. Underneath is a statement3 of this business as it rested with me, and on which Account I delayed putting the Bond in suit till your directions were had.
I am Sir &c.
LC, Bureau of Customs, Philadelphia.
2. John and Jeremiah Warder were Philadelphia merchants.
3. This account reads in part:
“Mr Warders the consignees of the Teas in Question and not the owners as they represented, immediately after entry reported them damaged. A survey was had according to Law, and a return made. Some short time after on offering the Teas for Sale, the damage was found much greater than at first appeared. Application was then made to me, and I went taking the Surveyor along with me, & viewed them, found a great part totally lost. I took also the valuation now inclosed also. I informed Messrs. Warders, though their Case was hard, I did not think I could grant a second survey, but that if the Gentlemen appointed on Oath reviewed them, under their first appointment, perhaps it may answer their purpose, but that I doubted, whether any men who returned on Oath as they did would give another Return. Messrs Warders then declared they never would till compelled pay a duty in Goods so circumstanced.…” (LC, Bureau of Customs, Philadelphia.)