Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
(800) 937-3880
SELL

Lot #231
Alexander Hamilton

“Whatever accoutrements & arms for Cavalry may be in the public store”: Hamilton marshals resources to quell the Whiskey Rebellion

This lot has closed

Estimate: $0+
Sell a Similar Item?
Share:  

Description

“Whatever accoutrements & arms for Cavalry may be in the public store”: Hamilton marshals resources to quell the Whiskey Rebellion

ALS signed in the text “Mr. Hamilton,” one page, 6.75 x 8, September 9, 1791. Hamilton writes to Mr. Hodgson. In full: “Mr. Hamilton requests Mr. Hodgson to furnish him immediately with a return of whatever accoutrements of arms for Cavalry may be in the public store, specifying also such as have been lately just forwarded.” The letter relates to preparations to suppress the Whiskey Rebellion, about which Hamilton sent another letter (to Governor Thomas Mifflin) on the same day, forwarding Washington’s request to mobilize the militia. The Whiskey Rebellion stemmed from a 1791 act, vigorously championed by Hamilton, to raise money for the debt incurred by the Revolutionary War by taxing distilled spirits. The act caused a furor—not only because whiskey was then an important medium of exchange, and widely produced by farmers from their excess grain. By the summer of 1794, protestors in Pennsylvania organized an armed rebellion, and Washington, invoking martial law, summoned various militias to quell the mob. Though the rebellion was quickly put down and less than two dozen protestors rounded up, the action marked a milestone in American history as the first time a president in office actively commanded troops in the field (together with Hamilton and General Henry Lee), as well as the first time under the Constitution that the federal government used military troops in enforcing the law. The tax, which proved to be largely unenforceable, was finally repealed in 1803. Accompanied by the transmittal panel, in Hamilton’s hand, clipped from another sheet. In good condition, with sheet lightly affixed to larger card, heavy uneven toning from previous framing (mostly confined to blank margins), intersecting folds (a few edge separations near but not touching text), and wrinkling. The writing is clear and dark throughout. Auction LOA John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and R&R COA.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title:
  • Dates: #330 - Ended February 13, 2008