To Benjamin Lincoln
Treasury Department March 7th 1794
I request from You an explanation of this affair. The threat of the resentment of the Citizens was a circumstance, if it existed, particularly unguarded and improper in an official communication.3
With much consideration & esteem
Benjamin Lincoln Esqr
L[S], RG 36, Collector of Customs at Boston, Letters from the Treasury, 1789–1807, Vol. IV, National Archives; ADf, Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford; copy, RG 56, Letters to the Collector at Boston, National Archives; LC, RG 56, Letters to Collectors at Small Ports, “Set G,” National Archives.
1. The enclosure, dated February 15, 1794, and signed by United States officers of the port of Boston, reads as follows:
“Captain [John Foster] Williams commanding the continental revenue Cutter has this morning in the course of his duty seen a small British Ship lying in Nantasket roads under a command not to discover what or whence she is.
“This improper conduct demands your immediate notice and attention to prevent those rigid measures which are within the extent of our commissions, or that resentment of the citizens which cannot fail to accompany the general public report of this fact.” (Copy, Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford.)
2. Thomas MacDonough was British consul at Boston.