From Edmund Randolph
Philadelphia, March 30, 1793.
The question which I had the honor of receiving in your letter of the 20th of March instant, is, Whether certain certificates of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, originally issued in lieu of Continental certificates, and lately offered to be subscribed to the Loan in State debt, according to the Act supplementary to the Act, making provision for the debt of the United States, can be legally received upon loan, as contended for by the holders?
What may be the result of a contest between the holders of those certificates, and the state of Pennsylvania,1 I presume, not to determine—But between the United States and that state I have no great difficulty in deciding—I am of opinion that the Acts of the Pennsylvania Assembly of the 27th March, 1789,2 and of the 30th March, and 1st of April 1790,3 abolished these certificates as debts of the State, except for the purpose of being re-exchanged for continental certificates, and therefore that the former, as wanting the due recognition from that state, cannot be legally received upon loan.
I have the honor to be, &c.
The Secretary of the Treasury.
Hogan, Pennsylvania State Trials description begins [Edmund Hogan], The Pennsylvania State Trials: Containing the Impeachment, Trial, and Acquittal of Francis Hopkinson, and John Nicholson, Esquires … (Philadelphia, 1794). description ends , 81–82.
1. Randolph is referring to the controversy between John Nicholson and the Pennsylvania legislature. See Nicholson to H, July 26, 1792, note 1; Alexander Dallas to H, January 15, 1793; H to Dallas, February 8, 1793.
2. “An Act to Repeal So Much of Any Act or Acts of Assembly of This Commonwealth as Directs the Payment of the New Loan Debt or the Interest Thereof Beyond the First Day of April Next, and for Other Purposes Therein Mentioned” (Pennsylvania Statutes description begins James T. Mitchell and Henry Flanders, eds., The Statutes at Large of Pennsylvania from 1682 to 1801 (Harrisburg, 1896–1915). description ends , XIII, 263–67).
3. “An Act to Enforce the Due Collection of the Revenues of the State and for Other Purposes Therein Mentioned” (Pennsylvania Statutes description begins James T. Mitchell and Henry Flanders, eds., The Statutes at Large of Pennsylvania from 1682 to 1801 (Harrisburg, 1896–1915). description ends , XIII, 486–93).