James Madison Papers

To James Madison from James McHenry, 21 June 1789

From James McHenry

Baltimore 21 June 1789

Dear Sir.

I was very happy to learn that you had dismissed the first reported bill for the collection of the revenue. In this State and perhaps in some of the others, the Laws were too much in favor of the officers at the expence of the revenue. Here, where the imports are so very considerable, instead of a naval officer and collector constituted to be checks upon each other, the whole power was lodged in a single person. I hope this evil will be avoided in your new bill. I am persuaded, generally speaking, and without intending any reflexion, that the public will save more by allowing eight hundred pounds to two men than five hundred to one.

I am much obliged to you for your letter of the 5.1 I cannot help, when I read the debates, wishing you better informed and abler associates. Your task is arduous, but I flatter myself you will get happily through it. Being about to set out for the Sweet Springs2 with my brother3 where he proposes remaining the season I shall hear little of your proceedings. I leave you however my best wishes and am Dr. Sir very sincerely your ob. st.

James McHenry

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

1Letter not found.

2Then in Botetourt County, Virginia, and now in Monroe County, West Virginia.

3The ailing John McHenry died on 7 May 1790 (Steiner, Life and Correspondence of McHenry, p. 125).

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