Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Oliver Wolcott, Junior, 25 November 1791

From Oliver Wolcott, Junior

C. Off Nov. 25. 1791


Applications are frequently made respecting accounts which remain dependg in this Office, on which I have already delivered my opinion and made reports while I served in the Office of Auditer of the Treasury.

In some cases special appeals were made to my predecessor in Office,1 & in other cases when no appeals were made; the principles on which the accounts were stated, appear to be interesting to the public & to the claims of individuals.

As it was clearly intended by the Legislature in their Act for establishing the Treasury Department that all accounts, should be examined by the Comptroller of the Treasury, for reasons affecting the public, & for the purpose of securing to claimants an appeal from settlements made by the Auditer;2 I have supposed that considerations of duty to the public & to individuals, as well as motives of delicacy which respect myself, required that accounts of this description should be made subject to some special regulation.

I therefore have taken the liberty to make this representation & to request that you would cause such arragements to be made as shall in your judgement be suitable & expedient.

I have the honour to   be with the greatest   respect Your obed servt


To the Honle A H.

ADfS, Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford.

1Wolcott had succeeded Nicholas Eveleigh as comptroller of the Treasury.

2Section 3 of “An Act to establish the Treasury Department” reads as follows: “And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the Comptroller to superintend the adjustment and preservation of the public accounts; to examine all accounts settled by the Auditor, and certify the balances arising thereon to the Register; to countersign all warrants drawn by the Secretary of the Treasury, which shall be warranted by law; to report to the Secretary the official forms of all papers to be issued in the different offices for collecting the public revenue, and the manner and form of keeping and stating the accounts of the several persons employed therein. He shall moreover provide for the regular and punctual payment of all monies which may be collected, and shall direct prosecutions for all delinquencies of officers of the revenue, and for debts that are, or shall be due to the United States” (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America (Boston, 1845). description ends 66 [September 2, 1789]).

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