Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Sharp Delany, [3 August 1790]

From Sharp Delany

[Philadelphia, August 3, 1790]


It is with no small degree of uneasiness that I so often trouble You, but the solicitations of those concerned oblige & urge me to it. I recd. Your answers1 respecting the Ship Brigida, and Mr Ingersolls2 Vessell, in regard to this last I made the objections you notice, but could not get answers sufficiently satisfactory for me to proceed. The Captn is now sent forward to give You information.

In regard to the other my difficulty lay in Mr Leamys3 having only a claim or right of property under the power of Atty but no special title to the Vessell, and this it appears Mr Leamy had not. The first Secto of the Registering Act,4 I always construed that unless the Vessell at the time that Act passed belonged to a Citizen or Citizens such Vessell could not be Registered And though American built, being foreign property when the Act operated, and afterwards becoming the property of a Citizen Yet I held she could not be intitled to a Register, and refused one in consequence to Messr Fishers5 of this City for the Ship Birmingham under such circumstances. I beg Your further consideration and direction on this last head, as it gives me much concern from the Tenor of your last in the case of Fishers for these Gentlemen bought out the owner in England for the purpose of fixing her in the Bristol Trade but from my construction the Register could not be obtained or granted. I beg leave to mention the schooner Betsey of Mr Ingersol was duly registerd here the 15th December last.

I am &c

Sharp Delany
August 3rd 1790

To A Hamilton Esqr
Secretary of the Treasury

LC, Copies of Letters to the Secretary, 1789–1790, Bureau of Customs, Philadelphia.

1The correspondence concerning this and other matters mentioned in this letter has not been found.

2Jared Ingersoll, a Philadelphia lawyer and attorney general of Pennsylvania, is the only Ingersoll listed in the Philadelphia directory for this year.

3John Leamy is listed in the Philadelphia directory as “Agent for his Catholic Majesty.”

4“An Act for Registering and Clearing Vessels, Regulating the Coasting Trade, and for other purposes” (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America (Boston, 1845). description ends 55–65 [September 1, 1789]).

5James C. Fisher and Samuel W. Fisher were merchants whose firm was located at 13 Mulberry Street, Philadelphia.

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