2090
2090

PROPERTY OF A DIFFERENT OWNER

Alexander Hamilton
AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT OF PAGES 21–22 OF HAMILTON’S THIRD DRAFT OF A NEW YORK STATE BILL FOR “AN ACT FOR RAISING CERTAIN YEARLY TAXES WITHIN THIS STATE" 
Estimate
10,00015,000
LOT SOLD. 11,250 USD
JUMP TO LOT
2090

PROPERTY OF A DIFFERENT OWNER

Alexander Hamilton
AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT OF PAGES 21–22 OF HAMILTON’S THIRD DRAFT OF A NEW YORK STATE BILL FOR “AN ACT FOR RAISING CERTAIN YEARLY TAXES WITHIN THIS STATE" 
Estimate
10,00015,000
LOT SOLD. 11,250 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Fine Manuscript and Printed Americana

|
New York

Alexander Hamilton
AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT OF PAGES 21–22 OF HAMILTON’S THIRD DRAFT OF A NEW YORK STATE BILL FOR “AN ACT FOR RAISING CERTAIN YEARLY TAXES WITHIN THIS STATE" 
2 pages (12 x 8 3/8 in.; 305 x 312 mm) on a single leaf, with numerous autograph corrections and emendations, [New York, ca. March 1787]; a little bit of soiling, some short fold separations and repairs. Matted, framed, and glazed with Plexiglas.
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Catalogue Note

Hamilton served a single term in the New York State Assembly, from 12 January to 21 April 1787. The seventy-member Assembly met in the Old Royal Exchange in New York City.  On 9 February, a committee introduced a proposal for a more fair system of taxation. “It was agreed on all hands,” the new York Daily Advertiser (21 February 1787) summarized Hamilton’s remarks, “that the system heretofore in use was full of defects; both in the view of equality among individuals and of revenue to the state. From the legislature to the assessors, all was conjecture and uncertainty.”  He explained that the present system left too much discretion to assessors and supervisors with their individual biases and inclinations.  “Equality and certainty are the two great objects to be aimed at in taxation,” Hamilton concluded, and although his system “does not pretend to reach absolute equality,” it would “approach much nearer to equality than the former system.”  He invited the committee, the Assembly, and the Legislature to improve it, but warned, “we could not fall upon a worse system than the present. Any change would be for the better.”

Hamilton's manuscript begins, " Assessor shall leave with each possessor of land his or her bailiff Agent or servant or fix up upon some public place of the dwelling house of such possessor of land his or her bailiff agent or servant, if any there be on the premisses a memorandum in writing of the amount of this tax to the end that each person may be prepared in time to pay the same  And the said tax shall be payable in the several counties at the respective periods hereinbefore limited for the payment of the tax on inhabited dwelling houses, and in the same proportions, and shall be collected to all intents and purposes within the times and in the manner prescribed for the collection of the said tax on inhabited dwelling houses. And the collectors shall have the same powers and shall be chargeable and answerable in the same manner for any default or neglect in respect to the collection of the said tax on lands as in respect to the collection of the said tax on inhabited dwelling houses and shall account for the proceeds thereof to the respective county treasuries within the same times and in the same manner." The rest of Hamilton's draft is in the Hamilton Papers in the Library of Congress; this page was attached to an unrelated document decades ago, and descended in the Hamilton family until 2017.

Members of both the Assembly and the Senate offered amendments to Hamilton’s bill, and the “Act for raising monies by tax,” that passed on 11 April 1787, was substantially shorter and did not include this text.  Rather than imposing duties on specific possessions and implementing detailed reforms, the final act levied a quota on each county in the state to raise a total of £50,000, and made the assessors in each county responsible for determining taxable property and the rates of taxation.

Fine Manuscript and Printed Americana

|
New York