Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from John Daves, 1 November 1791

From John Daves

Collectors Office Port of New Bern [North Carolina]
November 1st. 1791.


In obedience to your request to be informed what mode is customary among Merchants in this District for calculating the Tare upon Sugars, Coffee, &c.1 I have made the following Statement, which was also my mode of calculating the Tare until the present Act of Congress entitled “An Act to provide more effectually for the collection of the duties imposed by Law on Goods, Wares and Merchandize, imported into the United States, and on the Tonage of Ships and Vessels”2 required that I should vary my mode, since which I have strictly gone conformable to that Act.

I have also in obedience to your directions of the 5th. of August last,3 enclosed an exact copy of the Table of Duties, Fees &c. which I have constantly set up in my Office in conformity to the 54th section of the Collection Law.4

With much respect I have   the honour to be, Sir,   Your Most Obedt. Servt.

The Honourable Alexr. Hamilton Esqr.

Copy, RG 56, Letters from the Collector at New Bern, National Archives.

21 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America (Boston, 1845). description ends 145–78 (August 4, 1790).

4Daves is actually referring to Section 55, rather than 54, of this act (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America (Boston, 1845). description ends 173). For an explanation of the confusion over the numbering of the sections of this act, see H to Richard Harison, April 26, 1791, note 2. Section 55 reads as follows: “And be it further enacted, That every collector, naval officer, and surveyor, shall cause to be affixed and constantly kept in some public and conspicuous place of his office, a fair table of the rates of fees and duties demandable by law, and shall give a receipt for the fees he shall receive, specifying the particulars; and in case of failure therein, shall forfeit and pay one hundred dollars, to be recovered with costs, in any court having cognizance thereof, to the use of the informer; and if any officer of the customs shall demand or receive any greater or other fee, compensation or reward, for executing any duty or service required of him by law, he shall forfeit and pay two hundred dollars for each offence, recoverable in manner aforesaid for the use of the party grieved.”

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