Alexander Hamilton Papers
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To Alexander Hamilton from William Ellery, 31 January 1791

From William Ellery

Newport [Rhode Island] January 31, 1791. “… Imported, dutiable goods are exported to draw back the duty, and for want of a market are returned, may they be entered and landed on the duties being paid upon them or secured to be paid? The law respecting Drawbacks1 doth not appear to me to have had such cases in contemplation. I wish for your opinion on this subject.2 Nathan Saunders Master of the Sloop Polly belonging and bound to Pawcatuck in this District, lately arrived off Stonington, from Cadiz. An inspector from the District of New London went on board her and demanded a manifest of the master which he refused.… the said Master had taken out of said Sloop his Chest and Bedding a Kegg of Wine, a box of Lemons, and part of a hamper of raisins without a Permit, and against the remonstrance of the Inspector. I have desired the Surveyor3 to search for & seize those goods, and the Attorney of this District4 to prosecute the Master for violating the 27th Section of the Collection Law.…”5

LC, Newport Historical Society, Newport, Rhode Island.

1See Sections 57, 58, 59, 60, and 61 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, I (Boston, 1845). description ends 173–75 [August 4, 1790]).

2For H’s reply, see H to Ellery, April 11, 1791 (PAH description begins Harold C. Syrett, ed., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton (New York and London, 1961– ). description ends , VIII, 271–72).

3Daniel Lyman.

4William Channing.

5Section 27 of the Collection Law reads in part: “That no goods, wares or merchandise brought in any ship or vessel from any foreign port or place, shall be unladen or delivered from such ship or vessel, within the United States, but in open day … nor at any time without a permit from the collector for such unlading or delivery …” (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America, I (Boston, 1845). description ends 163).

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