Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from John Nicholson, 20 February 1794

From John Nicholson1

Comp. Gen. Office [Philadelphia]
Feby 20th. 1794


My Counsel are desirous of having a Copy of your letter of 20th. March 179[3]2 in which you refer to Mr. Randolph for his opinion on the subscribability of New Loans of Pennsa. to the Loan of the United states. You have hitherto been so kind in supplying copies of such papers as I applied for that I am in hopes [you] will not think this application troublesome and I believe I shall not need to ask you for any other.

If it were not improper I should be glad to have your answer whether as the words subsisting debt is frequently mentioned as a necessary ingredient to the assumability of any State Certificate, whether that was not more particularly intended to guard the Loans from being filled by the States themselves respectively with Certificates before redeemed by them and therefore no longer subsisting debts, as I can have no ideas of a debt ceasing to subsist until it be paid or discharged.3

I am &c


The Honble The secretary of the Treasury

LC, Division of Public Records, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg.

1For background to this letter, see Nicholson to H, July 26, 1792, note 1. See also Nicholson to H, January 8, February 11, 1794.

2In the MS this letter is incorrectly dated “1792.” see H to Edmund Randolph, March 20, 1793.

3This question had arisen in connection with the state debts of Rhode Island and the Carolinas. see Randolph to H, November 9, 1791; H to Benjamin Hawkins, December 9, 1791; H to Theodore Foster, September 1, 1791.

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