Alexander Hamilton Papers
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From Alexander Hamilton to Jeremiah Olney, 8 January 1792

To Jeremiah Olney

Treasury Department Jany 8th 1792

Sir,

I have received your letter relative to the case of the Brig Polly from Cape Francois and Charleston.1 There is no doubt that under the existing collection law, goods of the growth and manufacture of the United States can be relanded after exportation and they are not chargeable with duty on their importation into the United States as you will perceive by the 24th Section of the Act.2 I apprehend it is the 60th Section of the late Collection law3 to which you must have recured, which however was only intended to prevent a fraudulent relanding which should enable the owner to procure the drawback tho’ the Articles were brought back and consumed in the United States.

I am Sir  Your obedt Servt

Alex Hamilton

P.S. The prohibition to reland does not appear to me to apply to a case in which a vessel has bona fide performed her voyage to a foreign port and returned from thence. This fact however ought to be well ascertained.4

Jereh. Olney Esqr

LS, Rhode Island Historical Society, Providence; LS, Rhode Island Historical Society; copy, RG 56, Letters to the Collector at Providence, National Archives; copy, RG 56, Letters to Collectors at Small Ports, “Set G,” National Archives.

2H is referring to “An Act to provide more effectually for the collection of the duties imposed by law on goods, wares and merchandise imported into the United States, and on the tonnage of ships or vessels.” Section 24 reads:

Be it further enacted, That report and entry thereof shall be made as in other cases of goods, wares and merchandise imported from a foreign port or place, and proof by oath of the person or persons having knowledge of the facts, shall be made to the satisfaction of the collector of the district, with whom such entry shall be, jointly with the naval officer, if there be a naval officer, or alone if there be no naval officer, that the said articles had been exported from the United States, as of their growth, product or manufacture, and of the time when, by whom, in what ship or vessel, and or what port or place they were so exported; and if the said collector shall be other than the collector of the district from which the said articles shall have been exported, a certificate of the latter shall be produced to the former, testifying the exportation thereof in conformity to the proof aforesaid; whereupon a permit shall and may be granted for landing the same: Provided, That if the said certificate cannot be immediately produced, and if the proof otherwise required shall be made, and if bond shall be given, with one or more sureties to the satisfaction of the collector of the district within which the said articles are intended to be landed, in a sum equal to what the duties would be on the said articles, if they were not of the growth, produce or manufacture of the United States; with condition that the said certificate shall be produced within the term of four months, it shall be lawful for the said collector to grant a permit for the landing of the said articles, in like manner as if the said certificate had been produced.” (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America (Boston, 1845). description ends 162–63 [August 4, 1790].)

3For Section 60 of “An Act to provide more effectually for the collection of the duties imposed by law on goods, wares and merchandise imported into the United States, and on the tonnage of ships or vessels” (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America (Boston, 1845). description ends 174–75 [August 4, 1790]), see Olney to H, December 29, 1791.

4The postscript is in H’s handwriting.

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