Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to Thomas Pinckney, 1 December 1794

To Thomas Pinckney

Treasury Department December 1st 1794


I have directed the Treasurer to remit you a bill on our Commissioners at Amsterdam drawn in your favour for the sum of 303,115 Guilders.1 This step has been adopted in consequence of the precarious Situation of Holland which renders the Sale of bills on Amsterdam impracticable.2

You will please to take the means which shall appear to you most eligible to transfer the amount of the bill from Amsterdam to London, causing the money to be placed liable to your order in the Bank of London, or in some other situation which shall appear to you not less secure. If subsequent intelligence shall render it safe the Treasurer will draw upon you for the proceeds of the bill which he is directed to remit.

Among the modes of transferring the money from Amsterdam to London you will no doubt consider whether the shipping it in specie in the name and on account of the United States in a bottom of the United States and properly insured, may not be most adviseable. This will depend on circumstances which can only be judged of on the Spot—rate of exchange, rate of insurance &c. In case of Capture by a French armed Vessel in such a Situation there would be ground of claim for retribution by way of set off upon the French Government.

Besides the amount of the above mentioned bill there will be funds in the hands of our Commissioners more than sufficient for any approaching payments. Our Minister at the Hague3 is instructed if necessary to provide for the safety of these also by causing them to be remitted to You.

I will make no apology for the trouble I give you on this occasion knowing your zeal for the public service & counting on your obliging dispositions.

With great respect & esteem I have the honor to be Sir, Your very Obedient Servan

Alexander Hamilton

Thomas Pinckney Esquire
Minister Plenipotentiary

LS, Pinckney Family Papers, Library of Congress; LS (marked duplicate), Pinckney Family Papers, Library of Congress.

2On December 3, 1794, Edmund Randolph wrote to Pinckney: “I have the honor of informing you that the President has put your mission upon the same footing as to pecuniary considerations with that of Mr. Jay. I had therefore collected Bills to the amount of Eighteen thousand Dollars to be remitted to Amsterdam, as a fund for your expences.… But the probable situation of Amsterdam, according to the report of yesterday, has determined me to cancel those Bills, and get others on London, which I shall dispatch by the next vessel” (LC, RG 59, Diplomatic and Consular Instructions of the Department of State, 1791–1801, Vol. 2, August 22, 1793–June 1, 1795, National Archives).

3John Quincy Adams.

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