To Jeremiah Olney
Septr. 24. 1791
Your letter of the 15th. instant, respecting ten Kegs of Brandy imported in the Brigantine Betsey from Bordeaux in violation of the thirty third Section of the act of the 3rd of march last,1 has been received.
There appears to be reasonable ground for a presumption that the importation of the Brandy in kegs proceeded from ignorance of the law, and if no legal process is yet instituted with regard to the forfeiture, it is my wish that you will forbear to proceed further against it. The vessel and Brandy may of course be released. If a prosecution has been commenced the course of relief will be by petition through the district Judge.2
I am with consideration Sir Your obedt Servant
Jeremh. Olney Esqr.
LS, Rhode Island Historical Society, Providence; copy, RG 56, Letters to the Collector at Providence, National Archives; copy, RG 56, Letters to Collectors at Small Ports, “Set G,” National Archives.
1. “An Act repealing, after the last day of June next, the duties heretofore laid upon Distilled Spirits imported from abroad, and laying others in their stead; and also upon Spirits distilled within the United States, and for appropriating the same” (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America (Boston, 1845). description ends 199–214).
2. This sentence is in H’s handwriting.