Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Thomas Smith, 14 February 1791

From Thomas Smith

Loan Office [Philadelphia] Feby. 14th 1791


This accompanys Abstract of Certificates Old Emissions & Indents1 received on subscriptions to the Loan proposed by act of Congress 4 Augt 17902 from the 1st to the 31st January inclusive.

The subscriptions are encreassing very fast, which with the payment of Indents to the Citizens of this State to enable them to possess themselves of their original Certificates in order to fund them; together with the great number of Transfers that are daily making encreases the business of this office to so great a degree that without great assistance whilst the pressure of business continues it must be much retarded if not greatly embarrassed. I am honored with your favor of 8th Inst.3 also with Genl. Knox’s4 of 9th with his Instructions & Warrant for the payment of the Invalids. I shall most chearfully execute that & every other duty in the power of

Sir your &c.

Honble Alex. Hamilton Secy. Treasy. U.S.

LC, RG 53, Pennsylvania State Loan Office, Letter Book, 1790–1794, Vol. “615–P,” National Archives.

1The monthly abstract which Smith enclosed with this letter provided a summary of the routine work of the Pennsylvania loan office. For a discussion of “Certificates Old Emissions & Indents,” see Nathaniel Appleton to H, February 5, 1791, note 1.

In the second paragraph of this letter Smith is referring to conditions in the Pennsylvania loan office which differed somewhat from those in the loan offices of other states. In several offices the indents of interest, which had become due before January 1, 1788, continued to be issued after the institution of the new Federal Government. In Pennsylvania a more complete issue of indents was made because of Section 2 of the Pennsylvania law of March 27, 1789, entitled “An Act to Repeal So Much of Any Act or Acts of Assembly of This Commonwealth as Directs the Payment of the New Loan Debt or the Interest Thereof Beyond the First Day of April Next, and for Other Purposes Therein Mentioned,” which provided that “new loan” certificates issued by Pennsylvania during that state’s assumption of the Continental debt might be returned to the office of the comptroller general and exchanged for the Continental certificates originally loaned to Pennsylvania or “other certificates to the like amount.” Section 2 concluded with the proviso that “no certificates shall be so returned or delivered until the interest paid by this state on the certificate or certificates issued by this commonwealth as aforesaid shall be equalized and the overplus or balance beyond what has been in every such case received by this state from the United States shall be repaid in indents of the United States to the comptroller-general for the use of this state, and in every case where this state shall have received more interest from the United States than shall have been paid on the certificates so as aforsaid issued by this state the comptroller-general shall and he is hereby required to pay such overplus in indents of the United States to the holder or holders of such certificates” (Pennsylvania Statutes description begins James T. Mitchell and Henry Flanders, eds., The Statutes at Large of Pennsylvania from 1682 to 1801 (Harrisburg, 1896–1908). description ends , XIII, 266).

2“An Act making provision for the (payment of the) Debt of the United States” (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America (Boston, 1845). description ends 138–44).

3Letter not found.

4Henry Knox, Secretary of War.

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