George Washington Papers
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To George Washington from Alexander Hamilton, 6 January 1791

From Alexander Hamilton

Treasury Department. January 6th 1791

The Secretary of the Treasury has the honor respectfully to transmit to the President of the United States an account of the cost of a seal for the use of the District Court of Maine, on which he begs leave to remark, that there does not occur any reason to deem it immoderate.1 The Legislature having by their resolution of the 2nd of August last assigned a part of the fund provided for the contingent expences of government by their Act of the 26th day of March last to the discharge of this species of claim upon the United States and having committed that sum entirely to the President, he will be pleased to signify whether this account shall be paid at the Treasury, & charged there to that account.2

Alexander Hamilton
Secy of the Treasury

LB, DLC:GW.

1The enclosed account has not been found. Maine, which was part of Massachusetts, was established as a federal judicial district when the federal judiciary was established by Congress in 1789. Congress had briefly considered combining New Hampshire and Maine to form a single district, a move opposed by leaders from both (Marcus and Perry, Documentary History of the Supreme Court, description begins Maeva Marcus et al., eds. The Documentary History of the Supreme Court of the United States, 1789–1800. 8 vols. New York, 1985-2007. description ends 4:29).

2Under the terms of Resolution 4 of the second session of the First Congress, adopted 2 Aug. 1790, “the expense of procuring seals for the supreme, circuit, and district courts of the United States, shall be defrayed out of the money appropriated, by an act of the present session, for defraying the contingent charges of government” (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 187). The resolution refers to Section 3 of “An Act making appropriations for the support of government for the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety,” adopted 26 Mar. 1790 (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 104–6). No reply from GW has been found.

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