Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to Benjamin Lincoln, 18 December 1790

To Benjamin Lincoln

Treasury Department Dec. 18th. 1790


Your letter relative to the cutter1 was duly received, but it appearing from the information collected on that subject that the cost of those boats would exceed the sum contemplated by the legislature the whole business has been suspended ’till this time. I am however now engaged in the adjustment of it.

I observe your intention of œconomizing with regard to the Harbor boat, of your disposition to do which in all public expenditures I have no doubt.

Mr. Burgess’s2 brig appears to me not entitled to the privileges of an American Bottom. Reserving all other objections, I am of opinion that she is debarred by the 5th. Section of the Act for registring vessels &c.3 from being “deemed a vessel of the United States,” and consequently that the owners and importers in her are not entitled to the privileges appropriated to those who own and import in American ships.

I am Sir   Your obedient servant

A Hamilton

Benjamin Lincoln Esq.
Collector, Boston.

LS, RG 36, Collector of Customs at Boston, Letters from the Treasury and Others, 1790–1817, Vol. 10, 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.

1Lincoln to H, October 16, December 4, 1790.

2William Burgess.

3This section stated that with certain exceptions vessels of United States citizens residing in foreign countries were not entitled to register (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America (Boston, 1845). description ends 56 [September 1, 1789]).

This part of H’s letter should be compared with H to Lincoln, December 29, 1790.

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