Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to Thomas Jefferson, 23 May 1793

To Thomas Jefferson

Treasury Department May 23. 1793.


I have the honor of your note, transmitting the copy of one from mr. Genet of yesterday.1

As our laws stand no transfer of any part of her cargo from one vessel to another within our Ports, can take place ’till after a regular entry and the paying or securing the payment of the duties.2 You are sensible, Sir, that I have no discretion to dispense with their requisitions.

If the wines are to be carried to any foreign port and there landed, a drawback of the duties, essentially, may be obtained, under the usual securities for their due transportation to the place for which they are destined.3

I have the honor to be very respectfully,   Sir   your obedient Servant.

Alex. Hamilton.

The Secretary of State

Copy, Thomas Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress; LC, RG 59, Domestic Letters, 1792–1793, Vol. 5, National Archives.

1Neither Jefferson’s note nor the letters from Edmond Charles Genet to Jefferson has been found. On May 24, 1793, Jefferson wrote to Genet: “TH: Jefferson having forwarded to the Secretary of the Treasury the application of mr Genet on behalf of mr [James] Vanuxem, has now the honor to inclose to mr Genet the answer he has received, and of assuring him of his respect” (AL, Thomas Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress).

2Sections 13, 14, and 16 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 145–78 [August 4, 1790]) contained the regulations concerning the unloading of vessels.

3Sections 57, 58, 60, and 61 of the “Collection Law” state the terms under which drawbacks on wine could be paid.

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