George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Alexander Hamilton, 23 August 1793

From Alexander Hamilton

Treasury Dept Augt 23d 1793.

The Secretary of the Treasury has the honor to submit to the President a communication from the Commissioner of the revenue relating to contracts for the stakage of the shoals and channels of No. Carolina. He agrees in opinion with the Commissioner that it will be expedient to refuse No. 1 and ratify the others. It may even be better in the end, if a more eligible contract cannot be effected, to adopt some mode, though at greater expence to the public, to have the business done by a person employed at wages for the purpose. In such cases where, from local situation, few can conveniently undertake, which begets a disposition to exact, it is sometimes adviseable at a present sacrifice to demonstrate that the public will at no rate submit to unreasonable terms.1

A. Hamilton


1The letter from Tench Coxe, and its enclosures, have not been identified. According to his executive journal, GW reviewed five proposed contracts on Monday, 26 Aug., and approved those from Green Parker, Robert Wallace, John Wallace, and Henry Clark. He disapproved “No. 1. John Bragg’s Contract from the mouth of New [Neuse River] to Newbern—125 Dollars” (JPP description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed. The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797. Charlottesville, Va., 1981. description ends , 231). Letter-book copies of the four approved contracts are located in DNA: RG 26, Lighthouse Deeds and Contracts.

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