James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Paul Hamilton, 1 November 1810

From Paul Hamilton

Navy Department 1st. Novr 1810


The enclosed paper marked A will inform you of the state of the Navy appropriations up to the 31st ult.

From this paper you will perceive, sir, that of the appropriation for “Repairs of Vessels,” there is on hand the sum of $10,500:21; but the demands upon that appropriation at this time exceed 20,000$—so that altho’ there is a nominal balance of $10,500, we are that sum deficient in the means of discharging existing demands.

Of the appropriation for “Contingent Expences” there is on hand a nominal balance of $15:16; but the demands upon that appropriation at this time exceed 6000$—so that there is a real deficit of 6000$.

The appropriation for “Quarter Master’s Department” has inadvertently been overdrawn to the amount of $172:18.

Hence, sir, these three appropriations appear to me to require the aid of transfers—which other appropriations will however admit.

To cover existing deficits, & to provide funds for the discharge of other engagements under these heads of appropriation which may arise in the course of the current year, I recommend the transfer, of Sixty thousand dollars to the appropriation for Repairs—of thirty thousand dollars to the appropriation for Contingent Expences—& of two thousand five hundred dollars to the appropriation for quarter Master’s Department; & should you approve these transfers, I request your signature to the enclosed paper.1 I have the honor to be, with great respect, Sir, yr: mo: Obt. servt.

Paul Hamilton

RC and enclosure A (DLC); letterbook copy and copy of second enclosure (DNA: RG 45, LSP). RC in Goldsborough’s hand, signed by Hamilton. Docketed by JM. Enclosure A (1 p.) is “Statement of Navy Appropriations October 31st 1810.” Letterbook copy of enclosed authorization is dated 7 Nov. 1810.

1JM alluded to the transfers briefly in his annual message of 5 Dec. 1810. On 17 Dec. 1810 Hamilton submitted to Congress a more detailed report (not found) on the transfers (Annals of Congress description begins Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States ... (42 vols.; Washington, 1834-56). description ends , 11th Cong., 3d sess., 414).

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