Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Abishai Thomas, 12 June 1792

From Abishai Thomas

Philadelphia June 12th. 1792.


As Agent of the State of North Carolina I subscribed on Account of the loan to the United States proposed by Act of Congress of the 4th of August 1790 a Certificate or Receipt of James Green junr. late Treasurer of Loans in said State,1 for 96,300 dollars of the emissions of May 20, 1777, and April 11th. 1778.2 which had been deposited in his hands to be exchanged, which Certificate the Auditor3 and Comptroler4 have not admitted to be funded; I consider it therefore my duty to appeal to your decision, and to give you a concise statement of the transaction so as to place the business before you in its proper point of view. Mr. Green gave small Certificates to individuals for sums of money of the aforesaid emissions, which they brought in to be exchanged, pursuant to acts of Congress of the 2d. Jany. & 2d. July 1779.5 these Certificates were taken up by the District Treasurers of North Carolina, whereby the state became the Assignee of the individuals. The treasurers on settlement of their Accounts with the Legislature deposited them in the hands of the Chairman of the Committee with whom they settled, and the Chairman by order of the General Assembly6 delivered them to Mr. Green who gave one receipt for the whole amount, a duplicate of which is herewith sent. Now Sir, had the State kept possession of the original Certificates no difficulty would have occurred in the business, and I profess I see no just ground why there should as it now stands, for had the state been reimbursed in other money, or had She reclaimed and again received the Original Certificates, surely Mr. Green would have cancelled his receipt; upon the whole I am decidedly of opinion, that neither the one or the other ever did happen, that changing the face did not alter the nature of the obligation, and to sum up the whole, that the State of North Carolina has as indubitable a right to fund this paper as any other Certificate or evidence of public debt whatever, which is respectfully submitted, and your decision is respectfully solicited prior to the 16th. Inst.

I have the Honor &c.

Ab. Thomas

Copy, North Carolina Department of Archives and History, Raleigh.

1Thomas is referring to Green’s position as commissioner of the Continental loan office in North Carolina, an office which he assumed on December 24, 1777 (Clark, State Records of North Carolina description begins Walter Clark, ed., The State Records of North Carolina (Goldsboro, North Carolina, 1886–1907). description ends , XIII, 72). In North Carolina the Continental loan officer was often referred to as “Treasurer of Loans.”

2Section 3 of “An Act making provision for the (payment of the) Debt of the United States” included among the certificates which would be accepted in payment of subscriptions to the new Federal loans “Those issued by the commissioners of loans in the several states, including certificates given pursuant to the act of Congress of the second of January, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-nine, for bills of credit of the several emissions of the twentieth of May, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-seven, and the eleventh of April, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-eight” (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America (Boston, 1845). description ends 139 [August 4, 1790]).

3Richard Harrison.

4Oliver Wolcott, Jr.

5See William Skinner to H, August 11, 1791 note 5. For the extension of time granted to North Carolina by Congress, see JCC description begins Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (Washington, 1904–1937). description ends , XIV, 795–96.

6No resolution of the North Carolina House of Commons which clearly fits this description has been found. Under a resolution of October 20, 1779, however, Green redeemed the indents for “April and May money” then in the North Carolina treasury, and on Februry 12, 1781, the North Carolina House of Commons resolved that the indents for “April and May money” then in the hands of the state auditors should “be delivered by the Auditors to the Board of Trade the Better to enable them to supply our Delegates in Congress” (Clark, State Records of North Carolina description begins Walter Clark, ed., The State Records of North Carolina (Goldsboro, North Carolina, 1886–1907). description ends , XII, 835; XVII, 782–83).

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