Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to Otho H. Williams, 10 December 1791

To Otho H. Williams

Treasury Department
Dec. 10. 1791.


I have received a statement of the case of the Brig Trimmer from the Judge of the District Court of Maryland,1 and have determined to remit the forfeitures and penalties incurred by the vessel, goods and captain,2 on the repayment of the disbursements of money actually made. As the season of the year is critical, and the vessel may, if detained, be caught by the ice, I request that you will dismiss her on the repayment of the abovementioned disbursements. A formal act of remission will be sent to the Clerk of the District court in the next week.

I am, Sir,  Your obedt. servant

Alexander Hamilton

Otho H. Williams Esq.
Collector, Baltimore.

LS, Columbia University Libraries.

1William Paca.

2“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]) provided in part that “whenever any person who now is, or hereafter shall be liable to a fine, penalty or forfeiture … shall prefer his petition to the judge of the district in which such fine, penalty or forfeiture may have accrued … the said judge shall inquire in a summary manner into the circumstances of the case … and shall cause the facts which shall appear upon such inquiry, to be stated and annexed to the petition, and direct their transmission to the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, who shall thereupon have power to mitigate or remit such fine, penalty or forfeiture, or any part thereof, if in his opinion the same was incurred without wilful negligence or any intention of fraud.”

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