George Washington Papers

Tobias Lear to Alexander Hamilton, 13 July 1790

Tobias Lear to Alexander Hamilton

New York, 13 July 1790. Encloses warrants for the superintendents of lighthouses requested that day by the Treasury Department.1


1Lear had probably obtained the president’s signatures only that day on the ten commissions that Hamilton intended to forward to the lighthouse superintendents appointed since March 1790, when Hamiltion had explained to them why receipt of their commissions would be delayed: “As it is the duty of the Secretary of State to make out all civil commissions, and as there is no person at present in the execution of that office, and as a new form for this species of commissions is deemed adviseable, it is judged by the President expedient, to defer sending forward the commissions.” After the new forms had been printed, Lear sent Hamilton a list of the new superintendents of lighthouses on 4 July 1790 and asked him to affix the dates of appointment next to the names of the appointees. An undated copy of that list with the desired dates assigned is in DLC:GW, Department of Treasury letter book, vol. 31. Benjamin Lincoln’s partially printed warrant of 10 Mar. 1790, signed by GW, naming him “Superintendant of all the Lighthouses, Beacons, Buoys and Public Piers” in Massachusetts is in MHi: Benjamin Lincoln Papers (Lear to Hamilton, 4 July 1790, DNA: RG 26, “Segregated” Lighthouse Records; Syrett, Hamilton Papers, description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends 6:299, 474–75).

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