Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to William Seton, 3 October 1791

To William Seton

Treasury Department
October 3. 1791.


I do not find among the papers of the office any return of the investment of the last fifty thousand dollars in purchases of the debt; though I have a confused recollection of having received it.1 I therefore request that it may be forwarded, if not yet sent, or a duplicate, if a return has already been made.

I request also, that you will cause the requisite steps to be taken, for effecting a transfer of the whole amount of the debt purchased, to the Books of the Treasury; as the session of Congress approaches, and it is an express requisite of the Act that a report be made to that body of all preceding purchases, within fourteen days after the commencement of each session;2 in order to which it is necessary that they be first placed on the books of the Treasury. I beg your immediate attention to the matter.

With great consideration,   I remain Sir,   Your obedt. servant

A Hamilton

William Seton Esq.

LS, Bank of New York, New York City; copy, in the handwriting of William Seton, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

2Section 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 [the Vice President, the Chief Justice, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Attorney General], 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]).

Index Entries