Alexander Hamilton Papers

Treasury Department Circular to the Governors of the States, 27 June 1791

Treasury Department Circular
to the Governors of the States

Treasury Department
June 27. 1791


The legislature of the United States have directed in the 18th. Section of the Act making provision for the public debt1 that the payment of interest should be suspended in respect to the debt of any State which may have issued its own certificates for those of the ⟨U⟩nited States “until it shall appear to the satisfaction of the Secretary of the Treasury that certificates issued for that purpose by such state have been reexchanged or redeemed or until those which shall not have been reexchanged or redeemed, shall be surrendered to the United States.” I find it necessary therefore to request your attention to the subject. If the state of Maryland2 has issued any such certificates as are contemplated by the above recited Section, it will give certainty to the operations of the Treasury and may prevent delays inconvenient to the public creditors if you will direct the proper officers to cause the state of the fact as it regards Maryland to be made to appear to me. Should this general suggestion be less explicit than you desire, I shall on being notified that it is your wish, point out more particularly the documents that would appear to satisfy the law.

I have the honor to be with perfect respect   Sir   Your most obedient and most humble Servant

Alexander Hamilton
Secy of the Treasury

LS, to George Clinton, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond; LS, to Samuel Huntington, Yale University Library; copy, to Samuel Huntington, Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston; LS, to Alexander Martin, North Carolina Department of Archives and History, Raleigh; LC, to Alexander Martin, North Carolina Department of Archives and History, Raleigh; LS, to Beverley Randolph, Archives Division, Virginia State Library, Richmond; copy, to Thomas Mifflin, Division of Public Records, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg.

1“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 [August 4, 1790]). See “Treasury Department Circular to the Commissioners of Loans,” May 27, June 6, 1791.

2The name of the state varies in each circular, but there was apparently some confusion on the part of the clerk. In the circular addressed to Randolph the state inserted is Connecticut. In the circular sent to Mifflin “Delaware” is inserted, but at the bottom of the page the following note signed by Alexander Dallas appears: “say ‘Pensylvania.’ Error in the original.”

Index Entries