To George Washington
Treasury Dept. Jan: 20. 1794.
I have the honor to send herewith a letter to me from the Comissioner of the revenue of the 17 of August 1793;1 relating to the then state of execution of the laws laying a duty on spirits distilled within the United States, and on Stills,2 which was directed with the ultimate view of laying before you the information which it contains.
You will perceive that upon the whole the execution of the law has been progressive, though the obstacles to it are yet far from being entirely vanquished, and that supplementary provisions by the Legislature are necessary.
I beg leave to submit to your consideration the expediency of calling the attention of the Legislature to the subject by a message.3
With perfect respect and the truest attachment, I have the honor to be &c.
LC, George Washington Papers, Library of Congress.
1. Tench Coxe’s letter has not been found.
2. The original excise law, “An Act repealing, after the last day of June next, the duties heretofore laid upon Distilled Spirits imported from abroad, and laying others in their stead; and also upon Spirits distilled within the United States, and for appropriating the same” (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America (Boston, 1845). description ends 199–214 [March 3, 1791]), had been amended by “An Act concerning the Duties on Spirits distilled within the United States” (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America (Boston, 1845). description ends 267–71 [May 8, 1792]).
3. On January 21, 1794, in a message to both houses of Congress George Washington requested legislation for the extension of the excise laws to the territories and for the organization of a revenue district for Kentucky (Annals of Congress description begins The Debates and Proceedings of the Congress of the United States; with an Appendix, Containing Important State Papers and Public Documents, and All the Laws of a Public Nature (Washington, 1834–1849). description ends , IV, 35, 36). For an earlier discussion of these problems, see Coxe to H, October 19, 1792, note 22, and December 11, 1792.