Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to Sharp Delany, 24 September 1792

To Sharp Delany

Treasury Department Sept 24th 1792


In answer to your letter of this day,1 I incline to the opinion, that the laws respecting drawbacks ought to be so construed as to admit the entry of goods, wares and merchandise for exportation, if made within twelve calendar months, from the time such goods, wares or merchandise were entered at the custom-house and the duties paid or secured—as equivalent to the actual exportation.2

In adopting this rule generally, it ought however to be understood, that the vessel in which the articles are to be exported shall be actually in port at the time, preparing for her voyage.

I am Sir   Your obedt Servt

Alexander Hamilton

Sharp Delany Esqr
Collector Philada

LS, Bureau of Customs, Philadelphia; copy, RG 56, Letters to the Collector at Philadelphia, National Archives; copy, RG 56, Letters to Collectors at Small Ports, “Set G,” National Archives.

1Letter not found.

2The words “as equivalent to the actual exportation” are in H’s handwriting.

Section 3 of “An Act making further provision for the payment of the debts of the United States” provided: “That all duties which shall be paid or secured to be paid by virtue of this act, shall be returned or discharged in respect to all such goods, wares or merchandise, whereupon they shall have been so paid, or secured to be paid, as, within twelve calendar months after payment made or security given, shall be exported to any foreign port or place, except one per centum on the amount of the said duties, which shall be retained as an indemnification for whatever expense may have accrued concerning the same” (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America (Boston, 1845). description ends 181 [August 10, 1790]).

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