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Alexander Hamilton/ Photo: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

Alexander Hamilton letter hits the auction block with a starting price tag of $11K


WASHINGTON (Circa) - A letter written by Alexander Hamilton will go up for auction Thursday at Quinn’s Auction Galleries in Falls Church, Virginia.

The letter is from Alexander Hamilton to Samuel Hodgson in Sept. 1794 and requests supplies to help suppress the ongoing Whiskey Rebellion taking place in Pennsylvania. Hamilton wrote this letter just four months before leaving office as the Secretary of the Treasury.

Following the American Revolution, the states suffered from significant debts. It was Alexander Hamilton desired for the federal government take on that debt and suggested an excise tax on Whiskey to pay it off. The tax assigned an annual rate of 6 cents per gallon for large whiskey producers and 9 cents per gallon for smaller producers. This tax was met by anger and many producers refused to pay the tax and the increased tension lead to the Whiskey Rebellion uprising.

The newly independent United States feared this kind of rebellion, troops were eventually sent to western Pennsylvania to quell the unrest.

President George Washington was organically opposed to the tax but later conceded when it gained the support from local governments. Following his Presidency, Washington later opened a Whiskey Distillery in 1797 on his Mount Vernon estate.

Hamilton' letter hits the auction block with a starting price tag of $11,000. Proceeds from the sale will go to benefit the Hill House Museum, in Portsmouth, Virginia.

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