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INV-27211 ALEXANDER HAMILTON Letter Signed as Treasury Secretary. New York, December 1, 1789. 2 pp., 8 x 10 in. 1789-12-01

The First Federal Congress established the Treasury Department on September 2, 1789, only three months before this letter. Hamilton became Secretary of the Treasury – actually the very first member of George Washington’s cabinet – on September 11. Hamilton speedily created processes to organize and run the new nation’s financial system. He requires weekly returns of cash receipts and disbursements, and notes that while monthly returns on import duties will normally not be required, they are for the year about to end. He mentions the need for this information so he can make timely reports to Congress near the beginning of their sessions, with “the information relative to the Revenue which they will necessarily require.” In fact, responding to the request of Congress, Hamilton delivered his seminal Report on Public Credit on January 14, 1790. This letter, introducing his subordinate customs and tax collectors to the developing system, is an early and important part of the process.

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