George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Alexander Hamilton, 21 December 1792

From Alexander Hamilton

Treasury Departmt 21st Decr 1792

The Secretary of the Treasury has the honor respectfully to submit to the President of the United States, two Contracts between the Superintendant of the Lighthouse at New London, and Daniel Harris & Nathaniel Richards, together with a letter from the Commissioner of the Revenue; from the date of which it will be seen that these papers have been overlooked for some time, a casualty from which however the service has received no injury.1

The Contract with Danl Harris is for his compensation as Keeper of the Lighthouse, and that with Nathaniel Richards for supplying it with oil and other necessaries. The terms of both of the objects appear to the Secretary reasonable.2 All which is humbly submitted

Alex. Hamilton
Secy of the Treasury.


1Tench Coxe, in his letter to Hamilton of 10 Nov. 1792, enclosed “for the purpose of submission to the President, two contracts between the Superintendent of the light House at New London and Daniel Harris and Nathl Richards” (DNA: RG 58, Letters Sent by the Commissioner of the Revenue and the Revenue Office, 1792–1807; extract 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 13:33–34). Jedediah Huntington was the superintendent of lighthouses, beacons, buoys, public piers, and stakes at New London, Connecticut.

2Copies of these contracts, both dated 1 Oct. 1792, are in DNA: RG 26, Lighthouse Deeds and Contracts. Nathaniel Richards was to supply the lighthouse for one year with “strained Spermaceti Oil, Cotton wick, Candles & Soap,” at a cost of $360, and Harris, as keeper of the lighthouse, received a salary of $80. Both men were to be paid quarterly. Tobias Lear, at GW’s request, returned both contracts to Hamilton on 22 Dec., with a letter noting the “President’s approbation annexed thereto” (DNA: RG 26, Inventory NC–31, entry 17J, Records Relating to the DLC Exhibit, “Papers Signed by Tobias Lear, 1789–93”).

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