Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Edmund Randolph, 31 July 1793

From Edmund Randolph1

Philadelphia July 31st 1793


The question, arising upon Mr Lovell’s letter,2 turns upon the identity of the vessel. If she remain a french bottom, a Register cannot be granted; if she has been converted into an american bottom it may.

I shall enter into no subtle disquisition on such an occasion; but shall conform myself to practical ideas. It seems to be agreed in England and Philadelphia, that a vessel of the description in that letter, has not changed her country; but is still French. I am therefore of opinion, that nothing short of the process, suggested by Mr Lovell will justify a register; but that will.

I have the honor Sir, to be &c

Edm. Randolph

Copy, RG 39, Collector of Customs at Boston, Letters from the Treasury, 1789–1807, Vol. 4, National Archives.

1This letter was enclosed in H to James Lovell, November 29, 1793.

2Lovell was naval officer at Boston. Although Lovell’s letter has not been found, H’s letter of November 29, 1793, is endorsed “respectg. the burnt Vessel repaired or rebuilt at the Castle Island.”

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