George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Alexander Hamilton, 17 January 1792

From Alexander Hamilton

[Philadelphia] January 17th 1792.

The Secretary of the Treasury has the honor to communicate to the President a letter of the 7th of January 1792 from the Collector of Alexandria, in answer to one written at the direction of the President; and also the Answer of the Collector of Boston to an enquiry in relation to the Keeper of the Lighthouse at Portland.1


1Neither of the enclosures has been found (see Syrett, Hamilton Papers, description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends 10:520). Charles Lee, collector at Alexandria, Va., had written a letter to Hamilton on 11 Jan. regarding the enforcement of the customs laws and the fees collected, to which Hamilton replied on 18 January. For background to Benjamin Lincoln’s problems, as collector for the port of Boston, with the keeper of the Portland Head lighthouse, see Hamilton to GW, 23 Dec. 1790. Tobias Lear returned both of the enclosed letters to Alexander Hamilton on 18 Jan. 1792, commenting that GW “conceives from the statement made in Genl Lincoln’s letter, that the addition of twenty Dollars, to the annual sum of Eighty, already established would be a sufficient compensation” for the keeper of the Portland Head lighthouse, “& as much as it would be proper to allow” (DLC:GW).

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