From Jedediah Huntington1
Custom House N London [Connecticut]
7 Octor. 1789
I have this day the Honour of receiving your Letter of the 1st.2 inst. Upon my entering into Office I found the Light house at this Port furnished with Oil for three or four days only and no Provision made for further Supply. I immediately purchased a little for temporary use and have since laid in a Stock for the Winter. The Light House is built of Stone & the walls are good but the Roof was very leaky and that & the inner work in a ruinous Condition. I therefore thought it prudent to have a thorough Repair of the Roof which will be completed as soon as I can procure some more Sheet Lead. The Lamps requires abt. Eight hundred Gallons of Oil in a year which costs abt. three hundred Dollars & 50 dols the hire of a Man to tend the Lamps & contingent Expences arise to abt. 100 dollars yearly. The Superintendance of the whole was under the State Naval Officer. I am willing to take the Charge of it for the present. Sir
I remain most respectfully your obedt. Servant
The Genl. Assembly of this state last May ordered some Buoys to be fixed in the Harbour3 but nothing has been done in Consequence of their Act although the Merchants are very anxious that it should be complied with.
ADfS, New London Customs House Records, Federal Records Center, Boston.
1. Huntington, a veteran of the American Revolution, was collector of customs at New London, Connecticut.
2. “Treasury Department Circular to the Collectors of the Customs,” October 1, 1789 (PAH description begins Harold C. Syrett, ed., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton (New York and London, 1961– ). description ends , V, 415–16).
3. The resolution of the Connecticut General Assembly reads: “Resolved by this Assembly that the Naval Officer for the Port of New London be and he is thereby authorized and directed to fix Buoys on the Rocks or Ledges called Black Ledge and Race Rock and on the South East Point of the Reef called Goshen Reef on the Sound off against the Port of New London, and cause the same to be kept in proper Condition and Repair from Time to Time, the expence to be paid out of the Monies appropriated for support of the Light House near the Port of New London” (Leonard Woods Labaree, comp., The Public Records of the State of Connecticut from May 1789 through October 1792 [Hartford, 1948], 54–55).