Report on the Petition of Elias Hasket Derby
March 2nd. 1791.
[Communicated on March 2, 1791]1
The Secretary of the Treasury in obedience to an order of the House of Representatives of the 26th. Ulto.2 relative to the petition of Elias Hasket Derby, of the town of Salem Merchant;
That he has duly considered the allegations contained in the said petition, and the prayer thereof.
That he finds an insuperable difficulty in recommending to the consideration of the House, an act of particular indulgence, relative to the public dues, in favor of an individual.
That, however, it is true, that the importers of Teas, in the year 1790, have been embarrassed and injured by the difficulty of immediately obtaining prices adequate to cover the duties which have been imposed on those articles.
That an apprehension of such difficulties had induced him, to suggest to the House, in his report of the thirteenth of December last,3 the extension of the credit for the duties thereafter to accrue upon this Article.
From a view of the cases of the petitioner and other importers of Teas, by whom representations have been made to him, the Secretary begs leave to suggest, for the consideration of the House, the propriety of giving a retrospect to that clause in the pending Bill,4 which extends, in future, the credit allowed upon the Impost on Teas, in favor of all the Importers of that Article in the last Year.
All which is humbly submitted
Secretary of the Treasury
Copy, RG 233, Reports of the Treasury Department, 1791–1792, Vol. II, National Archives.
2. On February 26, 1791, “A petition of Elias Hasket Derby was presented to the House and read, praying relief in the payment of the impost on certain cargoes of tea, imported by the petitioner.
“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 , 393.)
4. This bill became law. See “An Act making farther provision for the collection of duties by law imposed on Teas, and to prolong the term for the payment of the Duties on Wines” (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America (Boston, 1845). description ends 219–21 [March 3, 1791]). H’s recommendation was not, however, adopted by Congress.