Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Tobias Lear, 27 November 1792

From Tobias Lear

[Philadelphia] November 27, 1792. Encloses “a Petition … in behalf of the Keeper of the Light House in Portland,1 to have his salary augmented.”

ALS, RG 26, Lighthouse Letters Received, “Segregated” Lighthouse Records, National Archives; LC, George Washington Papers, Library of Congress.

1Less than a month after this petition was sent to H, an article in the [Portland, Maine] Eastern Herald indicated that Joseph Greenleaf, the keeper of the Portland lighthouse, had accepted a sum of money which had been raised by subscription to augment his salary, for Greenleaf did not expect the President to authorize an increase in his salary, although it was a “totally inadequate compensation for his services” (Eastern Herald, December 24, 1792). In a letter to Greenleaf on January 17, 1793, Tench Coxe wrote: “Reflexions upon the justice of Government and of the Chief Magistrate too naturally follow from the tenor of these papers, and they are rendered the more unpleasant by the circumstance of the subscription paper being handed round by a gentleman holding a commission under the United States.… It is the Opinion of the Secretary of the Treasury with whom I have conferred upon this subject, and it is my opinion that you should refund … the Monies … paid to you … and that you should confide intirely in the equity and wisdom of the President in regard to the compensations for your services” (LC, RG 58, Letters of Commissioner of Revenue, 1792–1793, National Archives). See also H to Benjamin Lincoln, January 23, 1792.

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