Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Willink & Van Staphorst, 4 November 1788

To Willink & Van Staphorst

Paris Nov. 4.1 1788.


I am honored with your letter of Octob. 16. in answer to mine of Oct. 3. by which I find we are not to count on the immediate filling up of the last loan. There are important purposes which ought not to remain unexecuted a moment after money sufficient for them shall be obtained. In order to judge of this it will be necessary for me to know from time to time the state of the funds in your hands. If it will not be giving you too much trouble therefore, I will ask of you to state to me the last day of every month the number of bonds sold in the course of the month, and the balance remaining on hand. Without my having this knolege, the objects of Congress might remain unfulfilled, while there should be money enough in hand to do it. Whenever I suppose the state of the funds adequate to the call under contemplation, I shall explain it to you and await your answer before I draw for it.

Having no instructions, nor authority to advise whether the premiums on the negotiation of 4. pr. Cent shall be discharged in cash or otherwise, I must decline giving any opinion on it, and leave you to act according to the instructions you may have heretofore received from the Treasury board or Mr. Adams, or according to your own judgment. I have the honor to be with much esteem, Gentlemen, Your most obedient humble servt.,

Th: Jefferson

PrC (DLC); at foot of text: “Messrs. Willincks & Van Staphorsts.” TJ’s request for a monthly statement of the number of bonds sold reflects his growing conviction that the Amsterdam bankers were not aggressively promoting the sale of United States securities beyond the interest requirements necessary to satisfy their own claims (see his correspondence with Willink & Van Staphorst in the early months of 1789, also his dispatches to Jay).

1Date altered by overwriting from “Nov. 3.”

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