Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to Richard Harison, 18 March 1791

To Richard Harison

Treasury Department
March 18. 1791


The President of the United States having under consideration the petition of Samuel Dodge,1 an inspector of the Customs in the District of New York, I have to request that you will consent, on the part of the United States, to the suspension of the judgment in the case of the petitioner, ’till you shall be further advised.2

I am, sir,   Your Obedt. Servant

A Hamilton

Richard Harrison Esqr.
Attorney of the U States,
for the District of New York,
New York

LS, New-York Historical Society, New York City.

1Dodge had been suspended from his post and was threatened with prosecution for recovery of a penalty incurred through his violation of the customs laws. On November 5, 1790, he submitted a petition to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York claiming the violation had occurred through ignorance of the law and not with fraudulent intent, and appealing for relief under the provisions of Section 1 of “An Act to provide for mitigating or remitting the forfeitures and penalties accruing under the revenue laws, in certain cases therein mentioned” (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America (Boston, 1845). description ends 122–23 [May 26, 1790]). On February 22, 1791, Dodge was indicted by the United States Circuit Court for the Southern District of New York and pleaded guilty to the charge against him. Judgment against Dodge, however, was suspended until the next session of the court in order that he might appeal to the President for relief. Dodge’s petition to Washington, dated February 24, 1791, may be found in RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters, 1790–1799, National Archives. On September 14, 1791, Tobias Lear informed Edmund Randolph, the Attorney General, that “the President thinks proper to have a pardon issued to Saml. Dodge which the Atty Genl. is requested to prepare accordingly” (ALS, RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters, 1790–1799, National Archives).

2This word is in H’s handwriting.

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