Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Tench Coxe, 9 July 1794

From Tench Coxe

Treasury Department, Revenue Office, July 9, 1794. “The enclosed contract for Oil1 was recd. after the departure of the President,2 & it is now transmitted for the purpose of submission to him. The apprehensions of War have had some effects upon the American Whalers and the continuance of it among the greater part of the Maritime powers of Europe has either destroyed or interrupted, or greatly increased the charges of their Whale Fisheries.… An apprehension of these circumstances prompted me to secure at once a copious supply. After attempts at Philada. N York Providence, New Port, Nantucket, New Bedford & Boston, as mentioned in a former letter,3 the enclosed contract was the lowest.…”

LC, RG 26, Lighthouse Letters, Vol. I, National Archives.

1The contract, dated June 6, 1794, is with Moses M. Hayes and John Coffin Jones of Boston for $17,698.50 for “Nineteen thousand five hundred & sixty one and a half gallons of the best Spermaceti Oil, fit for the use of the Light Houses in the Southern Northern & Eastern States in the winter Season” (copy, RG 26, Lighthouse Deeds and Contracts, National Archives). George Washington approved the contract on July 14, 1794 (JPP description begins “Journal of the Proceedings of the President,” George Washington Papers, Library of Congress. description ends , 302).

2Washington had returned to Philadelphia from Mount Vernon on July 7, 1794.

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