Gouverneur Morris to the Commissaries of the French Treasury7
Paris 30th. July 1792
I did not receive until yesterday yours of the twenty eighth instant. I will proceed to the examination of the account8 enclosed in it immediately. We have money at Amsterdam; if you chuse to receive it there, be so kind as to inform me, and of the person to whom it is to be paid. It will be necessary in that case to fix a rate of exchange, and in order to avoid unnecessary delay, I pray you to state the rate at which you are willing to receive it. If the same is convenient, I will write in consequence to make the payments to your agents if not, I will take measures to pay you here.
I observe the note you transmit of losses on the purchase of specie. The United States desire to discharge their debt honorably. We are now actually paying specie in America for supplies to St. Domingo,9 and I shall agree to liberal terms for the sums which may be appropriated in that manner, notwithstanding the loss which we sustain thereby. I will write also my idea of the compensation to be made for such injury as you may sustain by the depreciation of your assignats, and doubt not that I shall be authoriz’d to act liberally. These objects will require time, and come properly into notice at a future day. That which more immediately presses, is to supply the treasury in the present moment, and with the smallest possible delay, in which you may rely on my utmost exertions.
|Messrs. les Commissionaires
de la Tresorie Nationale
7. Letterpress copy, Thomas Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress. For a description of the difficulties encountered by Morris and Short in making the payment due to France in the summer of 1792, see Morris to H, September 25, 1792.
8. A letterpress copy of this account entitled “Etat des Sommes dues Par les Etats Unis de l’Amerique Septentrionale pour cause des préts qui leur ont été faites par la France au ler. Juillet 1792 L’An 4e de la Liberté” may be found in the Thomas Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress. Jefferson enclosed a copy of this account in his October 31 letter to H.
9. For a description of the attempts to apply the United States debt to France for the relief of Santo Domingo, see Morris to H, November 2, 1792, note 4.