George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Alexander Hamilton, 19 December 1792

From Alexander Hamilton

[Philadelphia] Decr 19th 1792

The Secretary of the Treasury, presenting his respects to the President, submits the enclosed papers concerning the execution of a Contract for building a Well on Cape Henlopen.1 He will in the course of the week wait on the President for his orders.


1For previous correspondence regarding a contract with Abraham Hargis, keeper of the lighthouse at Cape Henlopen, Del., for the construction of a well, see Hamilton to GW, 19 June 1792, and notes 2 and 3. The enclosed papers were probably those submitted by Tench Coxe in his letter to Hamilton of 18 Dec., including the contractor’s account for “sinking and completing the well . . . the Amount whereof is £116:5: Pennsylvania Currency equal to 310 Dollars,” which, Coxe reported, was $31.98 more than the approved contract for £104.5.2 Pennsylvania currency ($278.02). Hargis, Coxe wrote, has “rendered an account (paper A) accompanied by such vouchers as in my Judgment would be sufficient to pass his demand through the Treasury Offices were he an accountable agent, instead of a contractor. The paper (B) annexed to the estimate and Contract contains the substance of those Vouchers, carefully extracted and so placed against the items of the Estimate as to render a comparison of them easy.” Coxe concluded that the additional expense was not unreasonable (DNA: RG 58, Letters Sent by the Commissioner of the Revenue and the Revenue Office, 1792–1807; extract in Syrett, Hamilton Papers, description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends 13:336).

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