Alexander Hamilton Papers
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From Alexander Hamilton to Otho H. Williams, 10 February 1791

To Otho H. Williams

Treasury Department
February 10th 1791.

Sir,

A petition from Mr John Hollins,1 of Baltimore, to the House of representatives has been refered to me on which I shall report2 that in my opinion the existing law admits of the relief desired by the petitioner. Annexed to the petition are legal Testimonies that the Schooner John was before the first of January 1791. within the Capes of Chessapeak bay, whence it follows that the Cargo on board her was “brought into the United States” before the expiration of the 31st December 1790.3 You will therefore only4 claim from Mr. Hollins the duties imposed by the impost Act of the first of June 1789.5

I am sir   Your Obedient Servant

Alexander Hamilton

Otho. H. Williams Esquire

LS, Columbia University Libraries.

1On February 4, 1791, the House of Representatives received “A petition of John Hollins, praying an abatement of the additional duties, which took place the first of January last, arising on a cargo imported in a vessel, which, although she arrived before that period, was prevented by the ice from getting to her port of entry till some time after.

Ordered, That the said [petition] be referred to the Secretary of the Treasury, with instruction to examine the same, and report his opinion thereupon to the House.” (Journal of the House, I description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States (Washington, 1826). description ends , 370.)

3January 1, 1791, was specified as the effective date for “An Act making further provision for the payment of the debts of the United States” (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America (Boston, 1845). description ends 180 [August 10, 1790]).

4This word is in H’s handwriting.

5The act H is referring to is “An Act for laying a Duty on Goods, Wares, and Merchandises imported into the United States” (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America (Boston, 1845). description ends 24–27 [July 4, 1789]).

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