HAMILTON, Alexander. Document signed (''Alexander Hamilton''), as Secretary of the Treasury, New York City, 11 September 1789. Commission appointing William Duer (1747-1799) Assistant Treasury Secretary. 1 page, oblong 4to, ink very faint throughout.
HAMILTON, Alexander. Document signed ("Alexander Hamilton"), as Secretary of the Treasury, New York City, 11 September 1789. Commission appointing William Duer (1747-1799) Assistant Treasury Secretary. 1 page, oblong 4to, ink very faint throughout.
VERY PROBABLY HAMILTON'S FIRST APPOINTMENT AS TREASURY SECRETARY
A commission as Assistant Treasury Secretary to William Duer, granted by his close friend, Alexander Hamilton, who, "having full confidence in your ability and integrity do by these presents appoint you to be the Assistant to the Secretary agreeably to the act for establishing the department of the Treasury, to perform all the duties which may be incumbent upon you in that office and to possess all the authorities which do or shall appertain to the same, hereby requiring all whom it may concern to respect and obey you accordingly." A native of Devonshire, England, Duer came to New York in the late 1760s and quickly formed strong business and political ties with the leading lights in the colony, such as the Schuyler family, through whom he also became close with Hamilton. In June 1776 Duer was a delegate to the New York constitutional convention and served on the drafting committee. A fervent advocate of American independence, he was elected to the Continental Congress in 1777. His contracts to supply the Army made him rich by the end of the Revolution. But Duer's appetite for profit proved his undoing. Resigning his Treasury post after only six months, he returned to the profitable fields of real estate and military contracting. Irregularities in two of those contracts led to prosecution, bankruptcy, and debtor's prison in 1792. Hamilton's persistent efforts to free him were unavailing. Duer died in prison in 1799.