From Francis Cabot
Georgetown [Maryland] August 22, 1792. “A few days since I Shipped from this place to Alexandria a pipe of Madeira Wine belonging to my Brother Mr George Cabot1 with the intention of having it transported to Boston as no sale could be found for it here. On its Arrival at Alexandria it was Seized by one of the Officers of the Port for not being marked old stock agreeably to law.2 An entire ignorance that such a law was in existance must plead my excuse. My principles of duty to the Government as well as regard to the interest of my Brother wou’d have induced the proper previous steps on my part had I have known any were Necessary.… I shall feel myself much indebted if you can consistently empower the Collector3 to release upon my giving him Satisfactory evidence that there could be no intention of fraud but that it was purely the result of ignorance.…”
Copy, RG 56, Letters to and from the Collector at Georgetown, National Archives.
1. George Cabot was United States Senator from Massachusetts.
2. Importers of distilled spirits were required to have the stock on hand marked “old stock” during the first three days of July, 1791, under Section 27 of “An Act repealing, after the last day of June next, the duties hereto-fore laid upon Distilled Spirits imported from abroad, and laying others in their stead; and also upon Spirits distilled within the United States, and for appropriating the same” (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America (Boston, 1845). description ends 266 [March 3, 1791]).
3. Charles Lee.