George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Alexander Hamilton, 11 June 1794

From Alexander Hamilton

Treas’y Dept June 11. 1794.


I have the honor to communicate a letter of the 19 of May from the Collector of Charleston with it’s enclosures—which announce a very exceptionable & dangerous interference, by certain Citizens of that place, with the Government, Treaties and lawful authorities of the U. States1—and to be with the highest respect &c.

Alex. Hamilton


1The enclosures have not been identified, but the collector, Isaac Holmes, evidently reported to Hamilton about a citizens meeting called at Charleston, S.C., on 14 May to consider "the intended departure of a Swedish vessel, loaded with provisions, for the West-Indies." Despite the embargo, the collector had granted clearance for the vessel, relying on Hamilton’s circular to the collectors of 23 April, which stated that Swedish vessels were exempt from the embargo by virtue of the seventeenth article of the 1783 treaty with Sweden. After Holmes presented that letter to the meeting, several resolutions were presented and debated until the participants received a declaration from the ship’s operator that "as the intended destination of the vessel and cargo for the West-Indies was disagreeable to his fellow citizens, he would chearfully alter her voyage, and pledged himself she should proceed directly for Europe" (City Gazette & Daily Advertiser [Charleston], 15, 16, and 17 May; Hamilton to collectors, 23 April, and to Holmes, 17 June, Hamilton Papers description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends , 16:317-18, 495-97).

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