Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to George Washington, 10 February 1794

To George Washington

Treasury Departt. 10 Feby. 1794


The enclosed letter of the 27 of last month from the Collector of Tappahannock,1 relates to a subject equally delicate & disagreeable. It is my duty to add, that bills have returned protested to the amount of 3000 Dollars.2

This conduct, though I trust proceeding from no ill motive in the Collector, is of a nature so fatal to the punctual collection of the revenue, and at the same time so vitally injurious to the public credit, that I cannot forbear to submit it as my opinion, that the public good requires the superceding of the officer.3

With perfect respect &c. &c.

Alexander Hamilton.

LC, George Washington Papers, Library of Congress.

1H is referring to a letter which Hudson Muse wrote to Washington on January 27, 1794. The letter reads in part as follows: “I have been imprudent in giving Gentlemen Credit at the Office for duties, and made myself liable by my returns … by which I am not at present prepared to take up draughts.… I can not pretend to Say any thing in Justification of myself for such Conduct, but if I may be excused for not being pointed to my duty in this Instance, I flatter myself you will do me the favour to Speak to the Secretary of Treasury on the Occasion, to grant me a small indulgence, and he may rest assured that the money Shall be ready for his order in less than two months from this date, and I will take care for the future never to be in the like Situation” (ALS, RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters, 1790–1799, National Archives).

2On February 16, 1794, Muse again wrote to Washington: “About ten days since, I took the liberty of writing you respecting draughts that had been presented at this office for Five thousand dollars, to which beg leave to refer you, and have now to observe, that only three thousand were returned, the other two, being retained, have since been provided for” (ALS, George Washington Papers, Library of Congress).

3Muse was replaced by his brother, Lawrence Muse, on March 6, 1794 (Executive Journal, I description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate (Washington, 1828), I. description ends , 149).

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