Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Jeremiah Olney, 31 October 1791

From Jeremiah Olney

Providence 31st. Octr. 1791.


The Schooner Alice, Jabez Andrus Master, entered here the 29th. instant, from Bonavista,1 loaded with Salt only, a Manifest, as usual, being exhibited to the Inspector who first went onboard within this District. This Morning I recd. a Letter from Jona. Maltbie, Master of the Argus Cutter,2 informing me, that One of his Mates went onboard the said Schooner and found no Manifest: This Information, he says, he gives in consequence of Directions from you: I wish Sir, to know whether it is your Meaning that every Master of a Vessel from a foreign Port should be prosecuted agreeable to the 12th Section of the Collection Law,3 for the Penalty incurred by neglecting to have Manifests onboard on his arrival within Four leagues of the Land? I shall omit the Prosecution of Capt. Andrus until I am favored with your reply.

I have the Honor to be &c

Jereh. Olney Collr.

Alexr. Hamilton Esqr.
Secy. of the Treasy.

ADfS, Rhode Island Historical Society, Providence; copy, RG 56, Letters from the Collector at Providence, National Archives.

1A port on the east coast of Newfoundland.

2Jonathan Maltbie. The Argus was the Connecticut revenue cutter.

3Section 12 of “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” reads as follows: “And be it further enacted, That if the master or other person having the charge or command of any ship or vessel laden as aforesaid, and bound to any port or place in the United States, shall not, upon his arrival within four leagues of the coast thereof, or within the limits of any district thereof, where the cargo of such ship or vessel or any part thereof is intended to be discharged, produce such manifest or manifests in writing, to the proper officer or officers upon demand thereof, and also deliver such copy or copies thereof as aforesaid according to the directions of this act in each case, or shall not give an account of the destination of such ship or vessel, which he is hereby required to do, upon request of such officer or officers, or shall give a false account of the said destination, in order to evade the production of the said manifest or manifests, the said master or other person having the charge or command of such ship or vessel, shall forfeit for every such refusal, neglect or offence, a sum not exceeding five hundred dollars. And if such officer or officers first coming on board, in each case within the distance or limits aforesaid, shall neglect or refuse to certify on the back of such manifest or manifests, the production thereof, and the delivery of such copy or copies respectively, as are herein before directed to be delivered to such officer or officers; every such officer, so neglecting or refusing, shall forfeit and pay the sum of five hundred dollars” (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America (Boston, 1845). description ends 157 [August 4, 1790]).

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