To Benjamin Lincoln1
Sepr 28. 1791
The law making provision for the reduction of the public debt requiring that an account of the purchases should be laid before Congress within the first fourteen days of each session,2 and as I am informed that only a part of the purchases made by you, yet appears on the books of the Treasury, I am to request that you will without delay have this business completed and all such stock as may stand on the books of any Commissioner of loans transferred immediately to those of the Treasury in the names of the Trustees of the Sinking Fund as described in the Act.3
You will observe the particulars which by the 3d. Section of that act are to enter into the Report of the Trustees; as these particulars must necessarily come from you, I request an abstract or statement of your purchases in which they shall be specified.
With great consideration & esteem I am Sir Your obedient
Benjamin Lincoln Esqr
ALS, RG 36, Collector of Customs at Boston, Letters from the Treasury, 1789–1808, National Archives; copy, RG 56, Letters to the Collector at Boston, National Archives; copy, RG 56, Letters to Collectors at Small Ports, “Set G,” National Archives.
2. Section 3 of “An Act making Provision for the Reduction of the Public Debt” reads as follows: “And be it further enacted, That accounts of the application of the said monies shall be rendered for settlement as other public accounts, accompanied with returns of the amount of the said debt purchased therewith, at the end of every quarter of a year, to be computed from the time of commencing the purchases aforesaid: and that a full and exact report of the proceedings of the said five persons, or any three of them, including a statement of the disbursements and purchases made under their direction, specifying the times thereof, the prices at which, and the parties from whom the same may be made, shall be laid before Congress, within the first fourteen days of each session which may ensue the present, during the execution of their said trust” (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America (Boston, 1845). description ends 186–87 [August 12, 1790]).
3. Section 2 of “An Act making Provision for the Reduction of the Public Debt” reads in part as follows: “And be it further enacted, That the purchases to be made of the said debt, shall be made under the direction of the President of the Senate, the Chief Justice, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Attorney General for the time being; and who, or any three of whom, with the approbation of the President of the United States, shall cause the said purchases to be made in such manner, and under such regulations as shall appear to them best calculated to fulfill the intent of this act” (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America (Boston, 1845). description ends 186).