Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from William Ellery, 15 February 1791

From William Ellery1

Custom House [Newport, Rhode Island]
Feby. 15th 1791


I received your letter of the 31st. of last month2 on the 12th of this. It will be impossible for me to give the names of persons of this State suitable for 1st. 2nd. & 3d. mates of the Cutter now building in Connecticut by this Post. I will do it the next.

When I sent forward a statement of the Cases of Hezekiah Usher & George Usher3 I was unacquainted with some circumstances which appeared on the examination of the Inspector of Bristol4 before the District Judge. I mean that upon his discovering the Hhd of Rum not mentioned in the Permit, and mentioning it to the Capt., the Capt. said it might be water, and that the said Rum, and the three bags of Coffee were unladed in the absence of the Inspector, that he had locked up the hatchways, and taken the key with him, and that when he returned he found the Hatchways had been open’d, and the Rum and Coffee stored. If these circumstances had been known to me at the time I wrote I should most certainly have mentioned them in the Statement.

Inclosed is a weekly return of Cash on hand; and also a List of one Bank note and of two Post notes of the bank of North America amounting to eighty dollars, Moieties of which are now transmitted to the Treasr. The other moieties of them were transmitted by the last Post.

I have the honour to be   Sir   Yr. most obedt. servt.

W Ellery Collr

Secry of the Treasy.
of the U. States

LC, Newport Historical Society, Newport, Rhode Island.

1Ellery, who had served as Continental loan officer for Rhode Island during the Confederation, was collector of customs at Newport.

2Letter not found, but see H to Jeremiah Olney, January 31, 1791.

3Ellery had forwarded this statement to H on January 17, 1791. Ellery’s letter of January 17 had not been found when Volume VII of The Papers of Alexander Hamilton was published. It has since been located in the Newport Historical Society and will be printed in a supplementary volume. See also Henry Marchant to H, February 14, 1791.

4William Munro.

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