Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to Robert Purviance, 14 August 1794

To Robert Purviance1

Treasury Department
August 14th 1794


As I am at a loss to determine into whose hands the monies, Bonds and other property belonging to the United States have fallen, in consequence of the death of General Williams your predecessor in Office, I have Judged it most adviseable to address a letter to his Executors on the subject2 and another to the Deputy Collector,3 both of which you will find inclosed.

I have therefore to request, that immediately upon the receipt of this, you will take the necessary measures for getting into your possession all the monies and other property of the United States as aforesaid—observing to give me the earliest information thereof.

I am with consideration   Sir   Your most Obedient Servant

Alexander Hamilton

Robert Purviance Esquire
Collector Baltimore

LS, Columbia University Libraries.

1Purviance had been naval officer of the port of Baltimore when Otho H. Williams was collector of customs at Baltimore. Williams died at Miller’s Town, Virginia, on July 15, 1794. George Washington appointed Purviance collector on August 9, 1794 (JPP description begins “Journal of the Proceedings of the President,” George Washington Papers, Library of Congress. description ends , 307). The Senate confirmed the appointment on December 11, 1794 (Executive Journal, I description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate (Washington, 1828),I. description ends , 165).

2Letter not found. In his will, dated June 5, 1794, Williams designated his wife, his brother Elie Williams, William Smith, and Dr. Philip Thomas as his executors (Calendar of the General Otho Holland Williams Papers in the Maryland Historical Society [Baltimore, 1940], 341).

3The letter to Christopher Richmond has not been found.

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