To Benjamin Lincoln1
September 3d 1790
I am of opinion that the Legislature did not contemplate any distinction in the rate of Duty between Sugars of different qualities, if unmanufactured & free from damage.
Goods belonging to Foreign Consuls are not exempted from duty, by virtue of any privilege to which they are legally entitled. I am however of opinion that the indication of the sense of the Legislature, contained in the new Collection Law,2 is too strong to be overlooked. If therefore the property was imported after the passing of that law (which was on the 4th of August) and the circumstances and proceedings have been conformable with the clause, the exemption does not appear exceptionable.
I am Sir very respectfully Your Obedient Servant
Benjamin Lincoln Esquire
L[S], RG 36, Collector of Customs at Boston, Letters from the Treasury, 1789–1807, Vol. 4, National Archives; copy, RG 56, Letters to the Collector at Boston, National Archives; copy, RG 56, Letters to Collectors at Small Ports, “Set G,” National Archives.
2. “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 (Boston, 1845). description ends 145–78 [August 4, 1790]). H is referring to Section 23 of this act (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America (Boston, 1845). description ends 161–62).