Alexander Hamilton Papers

Treasury Department Circular to the Collectors of the Customs, 2 January 1792

Treasury Department Circular
to the Collectors of the Customs

Treasury Department,
January 2, 1792.


It will prevent injury from accidents if the Collectors of the Customs, in all cases of the delivery of a Register to be cancelled, shall cut a hole in the like manner as is directed in the circular letter of the 21st of September last, in regard to the Registers therein mentioned.

All certificates of Registry delivered up at any office, wherever issued, are hereafter to be transmitted to the Treasury, with an endorsement of the time and place of delivery and the cause of surrender, whether it be a transfer of property or any other.

Having in consequence of enquiry, instructed several of the Collectors that the annual compensations allowed in the 54th section of the last Collection Law1 to themselves or the Surveyors might be paid out of the monies in their hands, I think it best to make the instruction circular. The officer entitled to the compensation will make out an account for the compensation due up to the first instant, which may be discharged out of the monies arising from Impost and Tonnage; and thereafter may be so paid quarterly. The commencement of the allowance is on the first day of October 1790.

The Bank of the United States being now in operation I have to desire that you will extend my instructions of the 22d of September 1789,2 in regard to receiving the Cash Notes and Post Notes of the Bank of North America, to the Cash Notes and Post Notes of the Bank of the United States, which are to be received and exchanged in like manner. The Directors have been requested by me to transmit you the signatures of the President and Cashier, as was done in the case of the Bank of North America.

Circumstances of the utmost importance render it necessary that the quarterly returns up to the 31st of December 1791, be made with all possible expedition, particularly those relative to Impost and Tonnage.

I am, Sir,  Your obedient servant,

A Hamilton

The Collectors of the Customs.

LS, to Jedediah Huntington, MS Division, New York Public Library; LS, to Charles Lee, Charles Lee Papers, Library of Congress; L[S], to Benjamin Lincoln, RG 36, Collector of Customs at Boston, Letters from the Treasury, 1772–1818, Vol. 6, National Archives; LS, to Jeremiah Olney, Rhode Island Historical Society, Providence; LS, to William Webb, United States Finance Miscellany, Treasury Circulars, Library of Congress; LS, Office of the Secretary, United States Treasury Department; copy, RG 56, Circulars of the Office of the Secretary, “Set T,” National Archives; copy, United States Finance Miscellany, Treasury Circulars, Library of Congress.

1This is a mistake, for H is referring to Section 53 of “An Act to provide more effectually for the collection of the duties imposed by law on goods, wares and merchandise imported into the United States, and on the tonnage of ships or vessels” (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America (Boston, 1845). description ends 171–72 [August 4, 1790]). For an explanation of the confusion in the section numbers, see H to Richard Harison, April 26, 1791, note 2.

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