Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to John Quincy Adams, 1 December 1794

To John Quincy Adams

Treasury Department
December 1st 1794



The United States have funds of some consequence in the hands of our Commissioners at Amsterdam,1 over and above what may be required for approaching payments. The Situation of Holland according to the last advices,2 leaves me not without disquietude on this account; for bidding the negotiation of bills upon that Country without great sacrifice. I have therefore directed the Treasurer to draw upon those Commissioners in favour of Thomas Pinckney Esquire our Minister at London3 for a considerable part of the Surplus in their hands of which I request you to apprise them—not having time to write to them by this opportunity.

But besides the amount of the bill in favour of Mr. Pinckney, the United States will have a sum not unimportant in the hands of the Commissioners. I beg your attention to this & that in case of extremity you will concert with them the best means of securing it. Two modes occur as most obvious—one to remit to Mr. Pinckney in London—the other to invest in the funds of the United States.

I feel great consolation in your being on the Spot to aid our Commissioners in taking care of the Interests of our Country. On their integrity and prudence I have also the greatest reliance.

With respectful consideration & true esteem   I have the honor to be   Sir,   Your very Obedient Servant

Alexander Hamilton

John Adams Junr. Esquire
Minister at the Hague

LS (duplicate), Adams Family Papers, deposited in the Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston.

1Willink, Van Staphorst, and Hubbard.

2For the effect of the international situation on the money market in Holland, see Willink, Van Staphorst, and Hubbard to H, September 26, 1794; Nicholaas Van Staphorst to H, October 4, 1794.

3On November 21, 1794, George Washington nominated “Thomas Pinckney to be Envoy Extraordinary of the United States to His Catholic Majesty, for the purpose of negotiating of and concerning the navigation of the river Mississippi … and of and concerning the general commerce between the said United States and the kingdoms and dominions of his … Catholic Majesty.” The Senate approved the nomination on November 22, 1794 (Executive Journal, I description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate (Washington, 1828),I. description ends , 163–64). On November 28, 1794, Edmund Randolph sent to Pinckney his instructions and commission (LC, RG 59, Diplomatic and Consular Instructions of the Department of State, 1791–1801, Vol. 2, August 22, 1793–June 1, 1795, National Archives).

On December 2, 1794, Samuel Meredith, the treasurer of the United States, wrote to Willink, Van Staphorst, and Hubbard: “Ten days after Sight, pay this my third of Exchange … to the Honorable Thomas Pinckney Minister from the United States to the Court of Great Britain or Order, Three hundred and Three thousand One hundred and fifteen Current Guilders Value received; which place to the Account of the United States of America” (ALS, RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters, 1790–1799, National Archives).

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