DescriptionAlexander Hamilton Letter Signed "A. Hamilton" as Secretary of the Treasury. One page, 8" x 10", "Treasury Department" [Philadelphia], August 19, 1793, to Port of Providence Customs Collector Jeremiah Olney regarding the possibility of legal suits being brought in the event of extra duties being levied. He writes to Olney, in full:
"I have to reply to your letter of the 26th ultimo.
"I take it for granted the parties alluded to will not on reflection do what is expected; because it is not certain that they will find the Judicial construction as favourable as that of the Treasury, with which it is a rule, in a doubtful case, to lean in favour of the merchants - and because also, they must be sensible that the most convenient rule is to exclude retrospection, whether for or against the government.
"If suits shall be brought, you will make it known to the Attorney of the District, in order that measures be taken to a proper defence; giving me notice of it at the same time."
Weakened folds which are separating at the edges, but there is no loss of paper and the text is unaffected. Toned along the edges and at places along the folds.
Alexander Hamilton, New York's only signer of the Constitution and secretary and aide-de-camp to General Washington during the American Revolution, served as the first Secretary of the Treasury from 1789-1795. Hamilton was mortally wounded in a duel with Vice President Aaron Burr in 1804. Jeremiah Olney (1749-1812), a military officer and veteran of the Revolutionary War, lobbied for the position of Providence Customs Collector and was appointed to the post by President George Washington. He was overly enthusiastic in his enforcement of the duties and attempts were made in 1793 and again in 1802 to expel him from the post. He finally resigned in 1809.
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