George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Alexander Hamilton, 1 October 1792

To Alexander Hamilton

Mount Vernon Octobr 1st 1792.


Your letter of the 22d ulto, with it’s enclosures, came duly to hand.

Lest any material disadvantage should result from delay; I have signed the Act which has been drawn by the Commissioner of the Revenue & approved by you, for arranging allowances to the Supervisors &c.—and now forward it; but I would rather, if this is not likely to be the case, have it retained in your hands until my arrival in Philadelphia, as I wish for some explanations, which I have not the means of obtaining from the want of the former Act of the 4th of August; a copy of which I requested might be returned to me, but from a misconception of my meaning, a copy of my letter was sent in lieu thereof. I now request a copy of the Act of the 4th of Augt & of the present one also.1

Before any nomination, or appointment of a Keeper of the Lighthouse on Cape Henry takes place, it would be proper to examine the List of Applicants (& I think there are several) who have applied to me for this Office, & is to be found among my papers by Mr Lear. If the person recommended by Colo. Parker is intemperate in drinking, it is immaterial, whether you can recollect his name or not; for, with me, this would be an insuperable objection, let his pretensions & promises of reformation be what they may. I have been once taken in by the fair promises of Major Call to refrain, & the strong assurances of his friends that he would do it; but will not, knowingly, trust again to the like from any one.2

I have, by this Post, directed the Attorney General to attend the Circuit Court in York Town, & see that the Indictments are legally prosecuted & properly supported.3 I am &ca

G: Washington


1For background on changes implemented in the compensation rates for the supervisors, inspectors, and collectors employed in enforcing and collecting the federal excise tax on whiskey, see Hamilton to GW, 22 Sept. 1792, and note 4. See also GW’s Orders to Revenue Officers, 29 Oct. 1792. Hamilton erroneously had enclosed a copy of GW’s letter to him of 5 Aug., rather than the 4 Aug. proclamation, in his letter to GW of 10 August.

2For previous discussion of the candidates for lighthouse keeper at Cape Henry, Va., see Hamilton to GW, 22 Sept., and note 6, and Thomas Newton, Jr., to GW, 28 Sept., and notes 2 and 6. For problems with Maj. Richard Call, see GW to Knox, 19 Aug. 1792.

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