George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Alexander Hamilton, 29 September 1794

From Alexander Hamilton

Treasy Depart: Sep: 29. 1794.

Sir,

I have the honor to transmit you two communications from the Commissioner of the Revenue dated the 24 & 25 instant, and to submit my opinion, that it is adviseable to ratify all the contracts to which they refer except that last mentioned with Green Parker.1 With perfect respect &c.

A. Hamilton.

LB, DLC:GW.

1Tench Coxe’s letter to Hamilton of 24 Sept. enclosed "proposals from Mr John McCauley for the copper work of the Tybee Lantern." Coxe explained that the cost was higher than for similar work at Cape Fear because the cost of materials had risen. The second of McCauley’s proposals, submitted after additional bids were solicited, was the lowest offered. "The War in Europe and other circumstances, have greatly advanced the prices of Metal, & Workmanship is constantly rising here from the increase of the expences of living and the prodigious increase of the capital employed in manufactures & other domestic operations. I am satisfied it will be difficult to procure as low a proposal from any other person" (DNA: RG 26, Lighthouse Letters; see also Hamilton Papers description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends , 17:266). For McCauley’s two proposals, dated 12 May and 23 July, see DNA: RG 26, Lighthouse Deeds and Contracts, 1790–1812.

Coxe’s letter to Hamilton of 25 Sept. enclosed "for the purpose of submission to the President a Note of the contracts for the stakeage of all the rivers sounds &c. which lie to the Northward of Cape Fear Island & which have heretofore been staked, some of them are higher than those of the last year and from the general advance in price it was to be expected. The advance however in the case of Pamptico & Pungo rivers &c. being the last mentioned contract with Green Parker, does not appear to merit approbation, being 66⅔ per cent than is now given. There is not any probability of injury from the rejection, as three months are to elapse before the commencement of the Business" (DNA: RG 26, Lighthouse Letters). The enclosed note was recorded in a memorandum by Coxe of 29 Sept. (DNA: RG 26, Lighthouse Deeds and Contracts, 1790-1812; see also Hamilton Papers description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends , 17:290). GW approved the contracts with the exception of Parker’s, which offered $100 for "Pamptico River, Pungo river & all the Navigable creeks to the Town of Washington." Subsequently, Parker "reduced his terms from 100 to 79 Dollars," which GW approved in December (Hamilton Papers description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends , 17:419). Parker (c.1746-1822) resided at New Bern.

Coxe also wrote another letter to Hamilton dated 25 Sept., which pointed out that in addition to the contract for work on the Tybee lighthouse, decisions were still pending on a contract with McCauley for work on the Cape Fear lighthouse, a contract for housing the keeper of the Plum Island lighthouse, and the appointment of a keeper for the Cape Fear lighthouse (DNA: RG 26, Lighthouse Letters; see also Hamilton Papers description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends , 17:268-69).

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