Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from William Ellery, 6 July 1794

From William Ellery

Newport [Rhode Island] July 6, 1794. “I have recd. your Circular letter of the 17th of the last month.… I have also recd. your letter of the 26th. of the same month1 advising me that you had remitted the penalty incurred by George W. Topham.2 If that case required some penalty I do not perceive how any part of it could have fallen upon the goods; for by the Proviso in the 33 Sec: of the Coasting law3 such goods are exempted from any forfeiture under that Act any thing therein contained to the contrary notwithstanding. As a like case may occur I should be happy to know on what part of the law your opinion is founded.”

LC, Newport Historical Society, Newport, Rhode Island.

1Letter not found.

3Section 33 of “An Act for enrolling and licensing ships or vessels to be employed in the coasting trade and fisheries, and for regulating the same” reads as follows: “Provided nevertheless, and be it further enacted, That in all cases where the whole or any part of the lading, or cargo, on board any ship or vessel, shall belong bona fide to any person or persons other than the master, owner, or mariners of such ship or vessel, and upon which the duties have been previously paid or secured, according to the law, shall be exempted from any forfeiture under this act, any thing therein contained to the contrary notwithstanding” (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America (Boston, 1845). description ends 316 [February 18, 1793]).

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