Alexander Hamilton Papers
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Enclosure A: [Statement of Interest Due Upon the Foreign Debt of the United States], [1 September 1790]


A Statement of Interest & Arrearages of Interest due and becoming due upon the Foreign Debt of the United States up to the thirty first day of December 1791 inclusive; Also of the parts of Principal which by the terms of the several Loans have become and will become payable to that day inclusive.

[New York, September 1, 1790]

Dollars Cts. Dollars Cts.
Arrearages of Interest to 31st: December 1791. on the French Loans
1791 January 1st: Seven Years Interest on the 6,000,000.16 at 5 per Cent: is 388.888.90.
September 3rd: Eight  do. ditto 18,000.000.17   do 1,333.333.28.
November 5th: Six  do ditto 4 per Cent: 444 444.  
Arrearages on the Spanish Loan19 of
174,011 Dollars to 21st: March 1782 at 5 per Cent 5 093.27.  
1791: March 21st: Nine Years Interest on ditto   “   78.305.98.
Arrearages of Interest to 31st: December 1791 inclusive 2 250.065.43.
Parts of Principal on the French Loans
Livres Livres
1787 September 3d: First payment due on the Loan of 18,000,000.   is 1,500,000. = 277.777.77.
November ditto 10,000.000.   1,000.000. 185.185.19.
1788. September 3d: & Novem: 5th: Second payment on sd Loans as per do. 462.962.96.
1789. September 3d: & Novem: 5th Third    do. do. 462.962.96.
1790. September 3d. & Novem: 5th Fourth   do. do. 462 962.96.
1791. September 3d & Novem: 5th Fifth    do. do. 462 962.96.
Principal of the Spanish Loan  174 011.  
Parts of Principal 2 488.825.80.
Total Dollars   4  738.891:23

Jos: Nourse Register.

Jos: Stretch20

15D, William Short Papers, Library of Congress.

16For a description of this loan, see Short to H, November 30, 1789, note 3.

17Rafael Bayley describes this loan as follows:

“It is extremely difficult to obtain information respecting this loan. It is probable that it was, in its inception, not so much a loan as a subsidy, a payment of 750,000 livres every three months to the American commissioners in France, to enable the colonies to keep up the unequal struggle with Great Britain. The money was advanced without an expectation of repayment, though with a stipulation that it should be repaid. In 1782 an account was taken of former payments not included in the 10,000,000 livres expressly given as a gratuity, and a formal contract for the repayment was drawn up. These payments amounted to 15,000,000 livres, and a further sum of 3,000,000 livres was added and paid to the United States, making a total of 18,000,000, which it was agreed should be repaid. The contract will be found in the Journals of Congress, vol. iv, Appendix, p. 20, and is dated July 16, 1782. It enumerates the different sums advanced by the king of France to the United States ‘under the title of a loan, in the years 1778, 1779, 1780, 1781, and 1782,’ and provides that, although in the receipts for said payments it is promised that the money should be repaid on the 1st of January, 1788, with interest at 5 per cent. per annum, yet, as the payment of so large a sum at one period might greatly injure the finances of the United States, it should be made in twelve annual payments of 1,500,000 livres each, to commence from the third year after the conclusion of peace.” (Bayley, National Loans description begins Rafael A. Bayley, The National Loans of the United States from July 4, 1776, to June 30, 1880 (Washington, 1882). description ends , 11.)

19The Spanish loan of 1781. Bayley states:

“The instructions to John Jay, sent as minister to Spain in 1779, show that he was directed to represent the distressed state of the financial concerns of this country ‘to his Catholic Majesty’ and to solicit a loan of $5,000,000, but before asking for a loan he was to endeavor to obtain from his majesty a subsidy in consideration of a guarantee by the United States of all rights which Spain might acquire in Florida by conquest from Great Britain. It is to be presumed, of course, that Mr. Jay obeyed his instructions, but he obtained neither the subsidy nor the five millions as a loan.” (Bayley, National Loans description begins Rafael A. Bayley, The National Loans of the United States from July 4, 1776, to June 30, 1880 (Washington, 1882). description ends , 12.)

However, when accounts were being drawn up in the Register’s Office in 1792, it was found that the sum of $174,011 was still due to Spain. Joseph Nourse in a letter to H of October 9, 1792, describes the account “depending betwixt His Mo: Catholic Majesty and the United States, for Monies recd. on Loan” as follows:

“I cannot find that this Loan has been recognized on the Journals of Congress in a like Manner with the french and Dutch Loans. It is founded on a settlemt. made by the late Comr. for settling the foreign Accts. entitled Loans from the Court of Spain. This money was paid to the Hon: James Gardoqui and has been regularly accounted for by him, having been expended in the purchasing of Cloathing and in the payt. of Bills of Exn. drawn by order of Congress.… Although there is no Recognition of the Debt on the Journals of Congress by a Copy of the Original Contract or otherwise, yet in all the Estimates made by the late Government the annual Appropriations have been made for the payment of its Int. and in the various Reports from Committees of Congress it has been noticed as an Existing Claim due from the united states.”

20Joseph Stretch was a clerk in the Register’s Office.

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