Alexander Hamilton Papers
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Treasury Department Circular to the Collectors of the Customs, 1 October 1790

Treasury Department Circular to the
Collectors of the Customs

Treasury Department
October 1st 1790

Sir

It being intended that one of the Revenue Boats or Cutters shall be built in Connecticut1 I request that you will on receipt of this endeavor to agree with some proper persons for the building & fitting of a Vessel of a size suitable to the nature of the service. From my inquiries in the Port of New-York I find that a complete Vessel capable of keeping this Coast in the Winter season may be fitted for One Thousand Dollars which sum you are not to exceed. The President of the United States has before him the names of persons proper to Command these Boats & when he shall have signified his pleasure in this matter the Officer appointed to the Command will have the superintendance of the building & outfit. Till that time nothing is to be done further than preparation but the business is to be put in as forward a Train as possible. It is my wish if it be found equally good and considering its quality as cheap that home made sail Cloth be used in preference to Foreign.

I have been recently informed by the Collector of Boston2 that the No 1 Cloth of the Factory of that place is sold at Eleven Dollars per piece warranted to contain Thirty Nine yards and that it is three Quarters of an Inch wider than British.

If it should be deemed best to use the Boston sail Cloth it will be proper to inform me as I can direct the purchase of the several parcels that will be wanted to be made at the same time by the Collector of Boston. The largeness of the quantity will enable & induce the owners of the factory to supply it on the most reasonable terms.

I am Sir   with respect   Your Obedient Servant

Alex Hamilton

On further consideration, I believe it will be best to take the Boston Cloth and therefore request your estimate and agreements may include it, and that you will inform me how much will be required.3

LS, to Jedediah Huntington, MS Division, New York Public Library; copy, to Sharp Delany, RG 26, Revenue Cutter Service, Letters Sent, Vol. “O,” National Archives; copy, to Sharp Delany, RG 56, Letters to Collectors at Small Ports, “Set G,” National Archives; copy, to Sharp Delany, RG 56, Letters to the Collector at Philadelphia, National Archives; LS, to Otho H. Williams, Columbia University Libraries.

1In the letter to Delany, “Connecticut” is changed to “Pennsylvania”; in the letter to Williams, it is changed to “Maryland.”

3In the letter sent to Sharp Delany the following postscript was written: “P.S. If it should be deemed best to use the Boston Sail Cloth, it will be proper to inform me, as I can direct the purchases of the several parcels that will be wanted, to be made at the same time by the Collector of Boston. The largeness of the quantity will enable & induce the owners of the factory to supply it on the most reasonable terms.”

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