George Washington Papers
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To George Washington from Oliver Wolcott, Jr., 9 June 1795

From Oliver Wolcott, Jr.

Treasy Depart: June 9th 1795.

The Secretary of the Treasury has the honor most respectfully to submit to the President of the United States, copies of certain documents in respect to the official conduct of Edward Wigglesworth Collector of the Customs for the District of Newbury-port in the State of Massachusetts;1 by which it appears—

1st. That the said Collector has omitted to give bond with sureties for the faithful discharge of the duties of his office, as required by the 52d section of the act entitled, “an act to provide more effectually for the collection of the duties imposed by Law on Goods, Wares & merchandize, imported into the U. States, and on the tonnage of ships or vessels.”2

2d. That the said Collector has, contrary to the duties enjoined by the 6th section of the said act, omitted to keep with punctuality & correctness the accounts and records of his office, agreeably to the forms prescribed by the Treasury Departmt.3

3d. That the said Collector has misapplied the monies collected by him for the United States, as is evident from his inability to produce the same when required, and from his having since omitted to remit the same to the office of Discount & Deposit of the Bank of the U. States at Boston, agreeably to standing Instructions from this Department.4

For all which reasons, the Secretary of the Treasury is of opinion that justice & the public interest indispensably require that the said Collector be displaced from office.5 All which is most respectfully submitted to the consideration of the President U.S.

Olivr Wolcott Jr
Secy of the Treasy

LB, DLC:GW; ADf, CtHi.

1Edward Wigglesworth had served as collector of the customs at Newburyport, Mass., since 1792 (see GW’s second letter to the U.S. Senate of 3 May 1792). The documents Wolcott enclosed have not been identified.

2Congress approved “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,” on 4 Aug. 1790. According to section 52 of the act, every collector must “give bond with one or more sufficient sureties, to be approved of by the comptroller of the treasury of the United States, and payable to the said United States, with condition for the true and faithful discharge of the duties of his office” (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 145, 171).

3Wolcott referred to the instructions in section 6 of the above act, which required collectors to “keep fair and true accounts and records of all their transactions … in such manner and form as may be directed … and shall at all times submit their books, papers and accounts to the inspection of such persons as may be appointed for that purpose.” Collectors must “at all times pay to the order of the officer who shall be authorized to direct the payment thereof, the whole of the monies which they may respectively receive … and shall also once in every three months, or oftener if they shall be required, transmit their accounts for settlement” (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 155).

4For the instructions, see Treasury Department Circular to the Collectors of the Customs in Massachusetts, 26 June 1792 (Hamilton Papers, description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends 11:578–79).

5GW replaced Wigglesworth with Dudley Atkins Tyng on 25 June.

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