George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Alexander Hamilton, 21 January 1795

From Alexander Hamilton

Treasury Department Jany 21 1795.


Pursuant to the 13 section of the Act entitled “An Act making further provision for securing & collecting the duties on foreign & domestic distilled spirits, stills, Wines & teas” passed the 5 June 1794;1 the Commissioner of the Revenue, in consultation with me, has prepared a plan for additional compensations to the Supervisors and other officers of Inspection, & for compensations to such new officers of these descriptions as result from the Laws, and as the experience which has been had of their operation is believed to recommend; which plan thrown into the usual form of an act of the President, is now submitted to his consideration—with estimates of the resulting expense, which it is not doubted will be found within the limits of the Laws.2

This plan has been delayed longer than was desireable, by the necessity of previous information from the Supervisors, & by an excess of occupation on the officers of this Department, which unavoidably postpones the less to the more urgent objects of public business.

It may happen that the President after considering the Plan, may desire some further explanation. For this purpose, I will wait upon him on Monday next twelve o’Clock.3 With perfect respect I have the honor to be &c.

Alexr Hamilton


1Section 13 of this act authorized GW to make “additional allowances” to the inspectors and collectors of revenue from distilled spirits for their services subsequent to 30 June 1794, not to “exceed, in the whole, the sums heretofore allowed, by more than one third” (1 Stat. description begins Richard Peters, ed. The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America, from the Organization of the Government in 1789, to March 3, 1845 . . .. 8 vols. Boston, 1845-67. description ends 378–81).

2The document submitted with this letter gives an estimate of expenses for the collection of revenues arising from licenses and sales at auction commencing on 1 Sept. 1794; an estimate of additional expenses for the two years ending 30 June 1793 involving gauging, office rent, travel, and the hiring of clerks; and an estimate of additional allowances pursuant to section 13 of the 1794 act and section 16 of the act of 8 May 1792 (also allowing GW to make allowances for supervisors and inspectors of the revenue). The first estimate was $5,000, the second, $3,000, and the third, $12,016.50. The first and third sums were then added to a previous estimate of 25 July 1792 (ASP description begins Walter Lowrie et al., eds. American State Papers. Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States. 38 vols. Washington, D.C., Gales and Seaton, 1832–61. description ends , Finance, 1:173–75) to estimate total expenses under the acts to be $86,996.50. The document also estimated the funds granted to be $98,3331/3 (DLC: GW; see also Hamilton Papers description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends , 18:166–170). For Tench Coxe’s preparation of the document, see his letters to Hamilton of 15 July, 13 and 30 Dec. 1794, and 5 Jan. 1795, and Hamilton to Coxe, 9 and 29 Dec. 1794 (Hamilton Papers description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends , 16:603–4, 17:431–32, 443–44, 572–75, 577, 18:9).

For the act as signed on 28 Jan., see Bartholomew Dandridge, Jr., to Hamilton, 27 Jan., n.2.

3The next Monday was 26 January.

Index Entries