Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to Benjamin Lincoln, 21 July 1792

To Benjamin Lincoln

Philadelphia July 21st 1792

My dear Sir

In the District of Edgar-town there is a Harbour called Holmes hole,1 where the Collector2 has appointed an Inspector (Ebenr Smith). It is represented to me, that many vessels come to anchor in that harbour, which are destined for other ports, and it is thought expedient to keep a boat there, for the purpose of boarding vessels, receiving manifests, and to transmit them to the ports, to which they are respectively bound. This Kind of Service it is said has been performed by the Inspector.

If you have any Knowledge of the situation of the Place, so as to form a judgement, to what extent the harbour is frequented, I should be glad of your opinion, how far the expence & maintenance of a boat would be compensated by the advantage that could be derived from the nature of the Service;3 and what kind of boat would suffice.

If you are acquainted with Mr Smith I could also wish to be informed, whether he is a fit character to have the charge of such a Boat.

I am Dear Sir

Benj. Lincoln Esqr

L[S], RG 36, Collector of Customs at Boston, Letters from the Treasury, 1789–1807, Vol. 4, National Archives; LC, RG 56, Letters to Collectors at Small Ports, “Set G,” National Archives; copy, RG 56, Letters to the Collector at Boston, National Archives.

1Holmes Hole is a harbor in the northeast part of the town of Tisbury on the north side of Martha’s Vineyard.

2John Pease was collector of customs at Edgar-town, Massachusetts.

3The remainder of this sentence is in H’s handwriting.

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