A 2 page hand written letter from Alexander Hamilton (1755 -1804), from the Treasury Department, to Jeremiah Olney (as Tax collector for Providence RI). Fascinating subject matter. Transcribed:
April 2nd 1793
Your letter of the 18th of March, Transmitting the copy pf a petition to the President, with certain articles of charges against you and your vindication, has been duly received- and I have taken the earliest opportunity of attentively perusing and considering the contents of those papers.
The sentiments, I have always entertained of you, and the interest I take in the good conduct of every officer connected to the department, would render it not a little painful to me to see any accusations of a serious import established against you. I have therefore noticed with satisfaction, the difference in your statement of fact, in the most exceptionable of the instances alleged. And Imprefsions (sic?) favorable to you have been strengthened by my own knowledge, that in some others, the censure shows upon you has not been merited.
But in making these observations it is (not) not my intention, because it would be improper to express any definitive opinion. I ought to reserve this for more full inquiry and examination, in case the complaint should be persisted in and should be regularly preferred.
Of this however you may entertain the most complete assurance, that no representation to your disadvantage, will be permitted to prejudice you in any sense; without you having a full opportunity for explanation or without a very impartial and careful investigation of facts. No officer, conscious of a well meaning and faithful discharge of his duty, need be apprehensive that he can suffer injury, from the misconception or misrepresentations of any persons, however respectable.
Your own knowledge of the President will satisfy you that I hazard nothing in making this declaration as it respects him, who will be the ultimate judge. (There).
There is but one point in the communications on which I think it necessary at this time to remark particularly.
It is the circumstance of a plurality of permits, in the cases of exportation, with a view to drawing back the duties. My construction of the law would suppose only one permit, in the care of one exporter, whether an individual or a copartnership, under one notice. Intermediate circumstances may be conducted with all necessary precautions, but the whole quantity noticed it is conceived, ought to be comprized (sic) in one permit. If for public reasons it is at any time found convenient to give more, the charge of a fee ought to be confined to one. The law speaks of “A permit” and seems to have reference to the whole parcel noticed at one time by one person for exportation.
'Tis possible I may not perceive all that is necessary to be considered in the case, and therefore (I) I reserve the sentiment now expressed, for reconsideration, in case any reason should be offered against it.
With consideration & esteem,
Your Obed Serv't
Jere'h Olney, Esq'r (?)
“From A. Hamilton 2 April 1793- On the impeachment against me/ no. 5”
Transcribed to the best of my ability on 3 March '14.