Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to Edmund Randolph, 30 April 1793

To Edmund Randolph1

Treasury Department
April 30, 1793


On a reperusal of the letter from the Governor of Virginia which I mentioned to you, I find that the proposal is to submit the Question to the Supreme Court of the United States at its next term.2

With the approbation of the President and in conformity to your opinion I have informed the Governor that the Question would be submitted as proposed.3

It will therefore remain for you to concert with the proper law Officer of the State of Virginia the most fit effectual and summary mode of obtaining the opinion of the Court on the point in Question.

The Comptroller has been directed to possess you of the facts as communicated to the Treasury. Should any difference in this respect appear, it can easily be settled on the spot by the Cooperation of the Commissioner of Loans.

With respectful consideration   I have the honor to be   Sir Yr Obed

The Atty General
of The Ustates

ADf, Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford.

1For background to this letter, see H to Henry Lee, March 22, 1793, and Lee to H, April 12, 1793.

2On February 13, 1794, the case of the United States v John Hopkins was heard in the Supreme Court. A motion was made that the court “grant a rule to shew cause … why a Mandamus should not issue directed to John Hopkins Esquire Commissioner of Loans for the District of Virginia requiring him to admit Richard Smyth to subscribe to the Loan proposed by the United States in and by an act of the Congress of the United States entitled ‘An Act supplementary to the Act making provision for the debt of the United States’ passed the 8th: day of May 1792 a certain certificate for the sum of 23,454 Dollars 76 Cents issued by the Commonwealth of Virginia bearing date prior to the 1st. day of January 1790 which Certificate after having been paid into the Treasury of the said Commonwealth was re-issued thereout in pursuance of an Act of the legislature of the said Commonwealth passed the 26th: day of December 1792.” On February 14 the Attorney General “proceeded to shew cause why a Mandamus should not issue against the Defendant,” and on February 15 “the Court after argument and full consideration are of opinion that the right claimed by the petitioner in the present case does not appear sufficiently clear to authorize the Court to issue the Mandamus moved for” (RG 267, Minutes of the Supreme Court of the United States, National Archives).

3Letter not found.

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