George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Alexander Hamilton, 8 September 1792

From Alexander Hamilton

Treasury Departmt 8th Septr 1792.


I have to acknowledge the honor of your Letter of the 31st of August.

Letters from the Supervisor of North Carolina confirm the representation contained in the letter from the Inspector of the 5th Survey to you.1 My letter which accompanies this suggests the measure which, on mature reflection, has appeared most proper to be taken upon the whole subject of the opposition to the Law.2 If the idea is approved by you, I believe it will be adviseable to transmit a copy of the Proclamation to the Governor of each of the States of South Carolina North Carolina & Pennsylvania, calling their attention in a proper manner to the state of affairs within their respective Governments.3

I am taking arrangements to cary into execution the payment of the Debt due to foreign officers, agreeably to the authorisation in the close of your Letter. With the highest respect and the truest attachment, I have the honor to be &c.

Alex. Hamilton


1The letters from supervisor William Polk to Hamilton have not been identified. William Polk (1758–1834), a North Carolina native and Revolutionary War veteran, served several terms in the North Carolina house of commons after the war. GW appointed him the supervisor of the North Carolina district in March 1791 (see GW to the U.S. Senate, 4 Mar. 1791), and Polk remained in that office until 1808. For background about opposition to the excise tax on whiskey, see “Report on the Difficulties in the Execution of the Act Laying Duties on Distilled Spirits,” presented by Hamilton to Congress on 6 Mar. 1791, in Syrett, Hamilton Papers, description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends 11:77–106. For background on the problems that Joseph McDowell, Jr., encountered as inspector of the fifth survey in North Carolina, see GW to Hamilton, 31 Aug. 1792, and note 2.

2For the accompanying letter, see Hamilton to GW, 9 Sept. 1792 (second letter).

3On 15 Sept. 1792 GW issued a proclamation in which he urged compliance with the federal excise tax on distilled spirits. GW enclosed a copy of this proclamation in his circular letter of 29 Sept. to the governors of North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina.

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