George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Alexander Hamilton, 26 June 1792

From Alexander Hamilton

Treasury Departmt June 26. 1792.

The Secretary of the Treasury has the honor respectfully to submit to The President of the United States a Report of the Commissioner of the Revenue on the Subject of a certain Pier to be erected in the River Delaware, in lieu of one previously established there which was carried away by the Ice at the breaking up of the River in the last Spring.1

After the best examination which the Secretary has had in his power, he submits the Contract provisionally entered into between The Superintendant of the Delaware Lighthouse &c. and Thomas Davis and Thomas Connaroe Junior, as the best thing practicable. He begs leave to add that the erection of the Pier prior to the ensueing Winter is of the most material importance to the Navigation of the River.2

Alexander Hamilton


1Superintendent William Allibone reported “the entire loss & destruction of one of the Piers at mud Island” to Hamilton on 13 Mar. 1792. Three days later Allibone informed Hamilton that “From a view of the Prices and estimates of Building Peirs heretofore with some allowance for the General advance of Wages, I am of Opinion that it will require an appropriation of not less than two thousand Dollars” to construct a new pier. Commissioner of the Revenue Tench Coxe on 20 June transmitted the contract to Hamilton and reported on the reasons for the high cost of replacing the destroyed pier (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 11:129, 135, 531).

2At GW’s command Tobias Lear wrote Hamilton on 28 June in order “to return to the Secretary of the Treasury, a contract, with his approbation subjoined, between the Superintendant of the Delaware Lighthouse &c. and Thomas Davis & Thomas Connaroe Junior for erecting a Pier in the River Delaware in place of one which was carried away by the Ice on the breaking up of the River last Spring” (DLC:GW). On the following day Hamilton forwarded the approved contract to Tench Coxe “in order that the business may be proceeded upon” (ibid., 606). Thomas Davis was a wharf builder from the Southwark district, a suburb on the southside of Philadelphia. Thomas Connaroe (Conaroe; Conrow), Jr., whose father of the same name had also been involved in the repair of piers on the Delaware River, lived at Springfield Township, Burlington County, N.J., in 1793.

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