Alexander Hamilton Papers

Contract with Melancton Smith, [15 March 1790]

Contract with Melancton Smith

[New York, March 15, 1790]

Agreement between Alexander Hamilton Secretary of the Treasury on behalf of the United States of America, and Melancton Smith of the City of New York Merchant.1

First. That the said Melancton Smith shall supply the posts of Westpoint on Hudsons River and of Springfield on Connecticut River, with all Rations which may be required for the use of the said posts, from the 1st. day of January to the last day of December 1790 including both days.

Secondly. That the Ration shall consist of the following Articles, to wit:

One pound of Bread or Flour.
One pound of Beef, or three quarters of a pound of Pork.
One Gill of Common Rum.
One quart of Salt. } per 100 Rations.
Two quarts of Vinegar
Two pounds of Soap
One pound of Candles

Thirdly. That the said Secretary on behalf of the United States shall pay to the said Melancton Smith the sum of Eight Cents and four tenths of a Cent for each ration issued as aforesaid and that such payment shall be made Monthly, upon the Accounts being passed at the proper Offices of the Treasury Department.

In Witness whereof the said Secretary of the Treasury on behalf of the said United States of America hath herewith subscribed his hand and affixed the Seal of the Treasury; and the said Melancton Smith has werewith subscribed and set his hand and seal the fifteenth day of March in the Year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and Ninety, and of the Independence of the said United States the fourteenth.

Alexander Hamilton
Secy of the Treasury

Melancton Smith

Sealed and delivered in
the presence of

DS, The Sol Feinstone Collection, Library of the American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia.

1Smith was a large landholder in Dutchess County, New York, and a merchant and lawyer in New York City. During the American Revolution he was one of three commissioners appointed by Congress to search out and punish Tories. Throughout his adult life he was a close political associate of Governor George Clinton and played a leading Antifederalist role in the New York Ratifying Convention until he finally decided to vote for ratification.

The fact that Smith was selected as contractor to supply the posts at West Point and Springfield, Massachusetts, places him in that small body of Antifederalists (another was John Lamb, collector of customs at New York) who received patronage from the Federalist administration.

For background to this document, see H to Nathaniel Gorham, December 8, 1789 (PAH description begins Harold C. Syrett, ed., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton (New York and London, 1961– ). description ends , VI, 8); “Request for Bids,” November 4, 1789 (PAH description begins Harold C. Syrett, ed., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton (New York and London, 1961– ). description ends , V, 496).

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