Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to Henry Marchant, 10 February 1791

To Henry Marchant1

Treasury Department
February 10. 1791.


You will find under this cover an act2 remitting the forfeiture in the case of the Schooner Fly, on the petition prefered to your court by Wm. Brightman.

This vessel being under thirty tons cannot be employed in the importation of goods from foreign ports. Nor can she pursue the coasting trade without the burden of the foreign tonnage duty. She may, however, with any papers that she may have brought in, export a cargo to some foreign place in which vessels of her size are enterable and may there be sold. It is not probable that the legislature will at any time put vessels, that shall be granted to their former owners, on a footing better than that on which they were before.

I am, Sir, very respectfully   Your obedt. servant

Alex Hamilton

The Honorable Henry Marchant Esq.
District Judge of Rhode Island Newport.

LS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1This letter is in reply to Marchant to H, December 20, 1790.

2H does not mean a legislative statute. “An Act to provide for mitigating or remitting the forfeitures and penalties accruing under the revenue laws, in certain cases therein mentioned” (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America (Boston, 1845). description ends 122–23 [May 26, 1790]) permitted the Secretary of the Treasury to decide such cases.

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