George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Alexander Hamilton, 18 June 1790

From Alexander Hamilton

Treasury Department [New York] June 18th 1790

The Secretary of the Treasury has the honor respectfully to submit to the President of the United states for his consideration, a Contract (with the letter that accompanied it) betwen William Allibone Superintendant of the Light-house, Beacons, Buoys & public Piers on the river and Bay of Delaware and Abraham Hargis, Keeper of the Light-house at Cape Henlopen—The yearly Salary of £130. altho’ it appeared high, is found, on Examination the same as was allowed to this person by the state of Pennsylvania—The allowance of £13. for the several supplies and services specifyed, does not appear unreasonable.1


1GW apparently regarded the salary proposed in the contract as too high and returned it to Hamilton. Although neither the proposed contract nor any reply from GW to Hamilton has been found, on 26 Aug. Hamilton wrote to GW submitting “a new contract made by William Allibone . . . with Abraham Hargis as Keeper of the said ligh[t] house, in lieu of that formerly made, which the President did not think proper to approve” (Hamilton to GW, 26 Aug. 1790 [first letter], DLC:GW). Lear replied to Hamilton on 28 Aug. 1790 that GW approved of the new contract fixing Hargis’s salary “at the rate of 266 Dollars 66⅔ Cents per annum” (Lear to Hamilton, 28 Aug. 1790 [first letter], DLC:GW).

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