Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to Robert Purviance, 27 December 1794

To Robert Purviance1

Treasury Department December 27th 1794


The President of the United States having been pleased to pardon and remit to Munnikhuysen & Sadler, Owners of the Schooner Martha the Offence and Penalty incurred by them by the Captain’s permitting certain goods to be laden on board the said Schooner in the Island of St. Domingo, contrary to the intent and meaning of an Embargo Bond given by them to your predecessor in Office2—I have to request that in pursuance of the said Pardon duly filed in this Office, You will proceed to cancel the Embargo Bond given by the Parties as aforesaid. A Duplicate of my remission in the case of the Taffia & Molasses imported in the Schooner Martha has been already transmitted to the District Judge.3

I am with consideration   Sir   Your most obedient servant

A Hamilton

Robert Purviance Esquire

LS, Columbia University Libraries.

1For background to this letter, see H to Purviance, August 18, 1794.

2Otho H. Williams.

3H’s remission of the penalties and forfeitures, dated December 18, 1794, reads in part as follows: “Whereas a Statement of facts with the Petition of Munnikhuysen and Sadler Owners of the Schooner Martha of Baltimore thereunto annexed touching a certain penalties and forfeitures incurred under the Statutes of the United States … was on the twelfth day of September last transmitted to me … by direction of the Judge of the United States for the District of Maryland [William Paca] … Now therefore know ye that I the said Secretary of the Treasury … have decided to remit and by these presents do remit to the said Munnikhuysen & Sadler all the right claim & demand of the United States … to the said penalties and forfeitures…” (DS, RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters of the Department of State, 1790–1799, National Archives; copy, Columbia University Libraries).

Four days after H’s remission of penalties and forfeitures in this case, William Bradford wrote: “I am of the opinion that the penalty incurred by the petitioners may be remitted & the offence pardoned by the President of the United States” (ADS, RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters of the Department of State, 1790–1799, National Archives).

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