George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Alexander Hamilton, 4 January 1793

From Alexander Hamilton

Treasury Departmt January 4th 1793.

The Secretary of the Treasury has the honor to submit to the President of the United States two Communications, one of the 13th & the other of the 21st of December last, suggesting certain alterations in the arrangement heretofore made, within the Revenue, District of North Carolina.1 These communications are accompanied with some supplementary documents, explanatory of them. The arrangement suggested in the last appears to me the most adviseable which present circumstances will permit—with this exception only, that the salaries proposed for the Inspectors of Surveys No. 2 and 5. be inverted; allowing to the former 100 Dollars, and to the latter 120 Dollars. The consideration that the Inspector of No. 2. is also a Collector of the Customs, dictates this suggestion.2

Alexander Hamilton
Secretary of the Treasury.


1The enclosed letters from Tench Coxe to Hamilton of 13 and 21 Dec. 1792 contain suggestions for the rearrangement of the revenue surveys and changes in the compensations for revenue officers in North Carolina (see both letters in DNA: RG 58, Letters Sent by the Commissioner of the Revenue and the Revenue Office, 1792–1807; extracts 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 13:317–19, 346). In the 13 Dec. letter, Coxe also offered the names of three possible candidates, all veterans of the Revolutionary War, for inspector of North Carolina’s first survey: Robert Rowan (c.1738–1798), a Fayetteville merchant; Thomas Callender (Calender; d. 1828), the current surveyor and inspector of the port of Wilmington; and Thomas Overton, the North Carolina assemblyman for Moore County. For previous correspondence concerning Overton’s suitability for this position, see Benjamin Hawkins to Tobias Lear, 26 Nov. 1792, and note 2. For GW’s appointment of Overton to the vacancy, see GW to the U.S. Senate, 28 Jan. 1793.

2Although no written response to this letter from GW has been found, Hamilton and GW apparently discussed the issue. On 12 Jan., Coxe wrote Hamilton: “Agreeably to your Note of the 10th instant, I have the honor to inclose to you a draught of an Act of the President of the United States, calculated to establish certain alterations of the Revenue Arrangement in the District of North Carolina, conforming with what I presume, from your said note to be the pleasure of the President” (DNA: RG 58, Letters Sent by the Commissioner of the Revenue and the Revenue Office, 1792–1807; extracted ibid., 478). Neither Hamilton’s letter to Coxe of 10 Jan. nor Coxe’s draft has been identified. On 22 Jan. 1793 GW issued an executive order altering the arrangement of the revenue service in North Carolina. This order, which presumably was based on Coxe’s draft, made the change in salaries that Hamilton suggested in his letter to GW of 4 January.

The rearrangement of the revenue surveys necessitated the reassignment of inspector Thomas Benbury from the third survey to the second survey. Lincoln County resident Daniel McKissack (c.1755–1818), a Revolutionary War veteran, was appointed to fill a vacancy in the fifth survey (see GW to the U.S. Senate, 28 Jan. 1793).

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