From William Ellery
Newport [Rhode Island] September 14, 1790. “… The Genl. Assembly of this State at their Session in Bristol, the last week repealed the Acts of the State relative to the Light House,1 and it is now expected that I should see that the light is kept.… I have engaged William Martin … to take care of it … until I shall have received directions from you. Nothing was done by the Genl. Assembly respecting a Cession of the Light House &c.…”2
LC, Newport Historical Society, Newport, Rhode Island.
1. The Rhode Island General Assembly passed the following resolution: “Whereas the Provision made by Congress, for defraying the Expence of Light-Houses within the United States, is extended to this State:
“It is therefore Voted and Resolved, That the Act of this State, made and passed in the Year 1786 entitled ‘An Act for regulating the Light-House,’ &c. and all other Acts relating to the same, be and they are hereby repealed.” (At the General Assembly of the Governor and Company of the State of Rhode-Island and Providence-Plantations, begun and held by Adjournment at Bristol, within and for the State aforesaid, on the First Monday in September, in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Ninety, and in the Fifteenth Year of Independence [n.p.: Printed by J. Carter], 13.)
For “the Provision made by Congress,” see “An Act for the establishment and support of Lighthouses, Beacons, Buoys, and Public Piers” (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America, I (Boston, 1845). description ends 53–54 [August 7, 1789]).
2. Rhode Island did not cede the lighthouse at Newport until May, 1793. See “An Act granting to the United States of America the public Light-House within this State” (At the General Assembly of the Governor and Company of the State of Rhode-Island and Providence-Plantations, begun and holden at Newport, within and for the State aforesaid, on the First Wednesday in May, in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Ninety-three, and in the Seventeenth Year of Independence [Providence: Printed by Bennett Wheeler], 21). See also Ellery to H, March 7, May 9, July 4, November 11, 1791 (PAH description begins Harold C. Syrett, ed., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton (New York and London, 1961– ). description ends , VIII, 163–64, 332–32, 528–30; IX, 493–94).
Ellery endorsed this letter: “This letter was answered Sept. 27th 1790.” Letter not found. H evidently wrote two letters to Ellery on this date. See H to Ellery, September 27, October 7, 1790 (PAH description begins Harold C. Syrett, ed., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton (New York and London, 1961– ). description ends , VII, 74, 99–100).