Alexander Hamilton Papers

Treasury Department Circular to the Collectors of the Customs, 11 November 1791

Treasury Department Circular to the
Collectors of the Customs

Treasury Department,
November 11, 1791.


An order having been transmitted to me from the honorable House of Representatives, to make certain returns, relative to the exports, imports and tonnage of the United States, I find it necessary to press your immediate transmission of all such documents as are to come from your Office, to the 30th of September last.1

A case, which has been represented to me, renders it necessary to intimate to the Collectors of the Customs that I do not conceive the allowance for damage, provided in the collection law, can be made to importers, unless such damage shall be certified by the appraisers, appointed as the act directs, “to have taken place during the voyage.”2

I am, Sir,   Your obedient Servant,

A Hamilton

LS, to Sharp Delany, Bureau of Customs, Philadelphia; L[S], to Benjamin Lincoln, RG 36, Letters from the Treasury, Vol. 5, National Archives; LS, to Otho H. Williams, Office of the Secretary, United States Treasury Department; copy, to Otho H. Williams, RG 56, Circulars of the Office of the Secretary, “Set T,” National Archives; L[S], Circulars of the Treasury Department, Library of Congress; copy, United States Finance Miscellany, Treasury Circulars, Library of Congress.

1An entry in the Journal of the House for November 10, 1791, reads as follows: “Ordered, That the Secretary of the Treasury do report to this House the amount of the exports from the several districts within the United States respectively; also, of duties arising on imports and tonnage, from the twenty-ninth of September, one thousand seven hundred and ninety, to the thirtieth of September, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-one” (Journal of the House, I description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States (Washington, 1826). description ends , 452).

2See Section 37 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” (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America (Boston, 1845). description ends 166–67 [August 4, 1790]).

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