Thomas Jefferson Papers
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# II. Jefferson’s Plan

[Oct. 1788]

A state of the debt due from the U.S. of America to France, and of the sums of Principal and Interest paiable each year

 Capital Interest Total Total Livres Livres Livres Dollars. 1787. 2,500,000 1,600,000 4,100,000 755,083 1788. 2,500,000 1,485,000 3,985,000 733,904 1789. 2,500,000 1,370,000 3,870,000 712,725 1790. 2,500,000 1,255,000 3,755,000 691,546 1791. 2,500,000 1,140,000 3,640,000 670,367 3,563,625 1792. 2,500,000 1,025,000 3,525,000 649,187 1793. 2,500,000 910,000 3,410,000 628,008 1794. 2,500,000 795,000 3,295,000 606,829 1795. 2,500,000 680,000 3,180,000 585,650 1796. 2,500,000 565,000 3,065,000 564,471 1797. 2,500,000 450,000 2,950,000 543,292 1798. 2,500,000 325,000 2,825,000 520,271 1799. 1,000,000 200,000 1,200,000 221,000 1800. 1,000,000 150,000 1,150,000 211,792 1801. 1,000,000 100,000 1,100,000 202,583 1802. 1,000,000 50,000 1,050,000 193,375 34,000,000 12,100,000 46,100,000 8,490,083

The livres are converted into Dollars on the following principles.

1. The Spanish Dollar of exchange is equal to 50. sous Courant of Holland, when at par, that is, according to the pure metal they contain.

2. The French sou (of three Livres) of exchange is equal to 27⅝ sous Courant of Holland, when at par, that is to say intrinsically.

Then As 50. Sous Court : 1 Dollar :: 27⅝ Sous Court. : 0.5525 of a Dollar.

Consequently 27 ⅝ S.ct. ÷ 3 = 1 livre = Doll. = 0.1841⅔ Dol.

That is to say

A livre is 1 Disme-8 cents-4.1⅔ mills exactly

A dollar is 5.43 or 5-8s.-7⅕d. exactly

The Impost of 5. per cent on European articles was estimated at 777,773 Dollars annually. Suppose then this European impost appropriated sacredly to the paiment of the French debt. Some years there will be Deficiencies which must be made up by borrowing. Other years there will be a Surplus to repay or counterbalance these loans.

The following operation will shew that the annual sum of 777.773 Dollars will, by the year 1803, pay off the French debt principal and interest punctually at the epochs they become due, with the aid of occasional loans; which occasional loans with their interest, however, it will also repay within the same time, and leave a surplus of 310,422 Dollars to be carried to the fund for paying off the Dutch debt.

But note, the expences of making the occasional loans, not being known, are not taken into this account; nor are the expences of collecting the impost.

Dollars Dollars
1791. Impost of 5. per cent on all European commodities 777,773
Deficit to be supplied by New loan ..... 2,785,852 2,785,852
Arrearages of Interest & principal to be paid this year …… 3,563,625
3,563,625 3,563,625
1792. European impost 777,773
 Deficit to be borrowed 10,711 Demand of 1792 2,796,563
10,711
…… 649,187
Interest of New loan of last year …… 139,297
788,484 788,484
1793. European impost 777,773
Interest of New loans …… 139,828
Demand of 1793 …… 628,008
Surplus (to be employed immediately so as to save, or beget, a year’s interest) …… 9,937
777,773 777,773
1794. Surplus of 1793 9,937
Interest, saved or begotton, on that 496
European impost 777,773
Interest on New loans …… 139,828
Demand of 1794 …… 606,829
Surplus …… 41,549
788,206 788,206

1795. Surplus of 1794 41,549
Interest on that 2,077
European impost 777,773
Interest on New loans …… 139,828
Demand of 1795 …… 585,650
Surplus …… 95,921
821,399 821,399
1796. Surplus of 1795 95,921
Interest on that 4,796
European Impost 777,773
Interest on New loans …… 139,828
Demand of 1796 …… 564,471
Surplus …… 174,191
878,490 878,490
1797. Surplus of 1796 174,191
Interest on that 8,709
European impost 777,773
Interest on New loans …… 139,828
Demand of 1797 …… 543,292
Surplus …… 277,553
960,673 960,673
1798. Surplus of 1797 277,553
Interest on that 13,877
European impost 777,773
Interest on New loan …… 139,828
Demand of 1798 …… 520,271
Surplus …… 409,104
1,069,203 1,069,203
1799. Surplus of 1798 409,104
Interest on that 20,455
European impost 777,773
Interest on New loans …… 139,828
Demand of 1799 …… 221,000
Surplus …… 846,504
1,207,332 1,207,332
1800. Surplus of 1799 846,504
Interest on that 42,325
European impost 777,773
Interest on New loans …… 139,828
Demand of 1800 …… 211,792
Surplus …… 1,314,982
1,666,602 1,666,602

1801. Surplus of 1800 1,314,982
Interest on that 65,749
European impost 777,773
Interest on New loans …… 139,828
Demand of 1801 …… 202,583
Surplus …… 1,816,093
2,158,504 2,158,504
1802. Surplus of 1801 1,816,093
Interest on that 90,804
European impost 777,773
Interest on New loans 139,828
Demand of 1802 193,375
Surplus …… 2,351,467
2,684,670 2,684,670
1803. Surplus of 1802 2,351,467
Interest on that 117,573
European impost 777,773
Interest on New loans 139,828
Principal of New loans 2,796,563
Surplus to be transferred in aid of Dutch funds …… 310,422
3,246,813 3,246,813

State of the Debt of the U.S. in Holland, and of the epochs at which it is paiable, principal and interest

 5 Milln. Flor. 1782. Jun. 11. Int. 5 p Ct. paiab. Jun. 1 1. Milln. Flor 1787 Jun. 1 Int. 5 p Ct. paiab. Jun. 1 1. Mill. Flor. 1788 Mar. 13. Int. 5p. Ct. paiab. Jun. 1 2 Mill. Flo. 1784. Mar. 9. Int. 4p. Ct. paiab. Feb. 1. TotalFlorins TotalDollars 1791. …… 250,000 …… 50,000 …… 50,000 …… 80,000 430,000 172,000 1792. …… 250,000 …… 50,000 …… 50,000 …… 80,000 430,000 172,000 1793. 1,000,000 250,000 …… 50,000 …… 50,000 …… 80,000 1,430,000 572,000 1794. 1,000,000 200,000 …… 50,000 …… 50,000 …… 80,000 1,380,000 552,000 1795. 1,000,000 150,000 …… 50,000 …… 50,000 …… 80,000 1,330,000 532,000 1796. 1,000,000 100,000 …… 50,000 …… 50,000 …… 80,000 1,280,000 512,000 1797. 1,000,000 50,000 …… 50,000 …… 50,000 …… 80,000 1,230,000 492,000 1798. …… …… 200,000 50,000 …… 50,000 …… 80,000 380,000 152,000 1799. …… …… 200,000 40,000 200,000 50,000 …… 80,000 570,000 228,000 1800. …… …… 200,000 30,000 200,000 40,000 …… 80,000 550,000 220,000 1801. …… …… 200,000 20,000 200,000 30,000 312,000 80,000 842,000 336,800 1802. …… …… 200,000 10,000 200,000 20,000 325,500 70,000 825,500 330,200 1803. …… …… …… …… 200,000 10,000 339,200 60,000 609,200 243,680 1804. …… …… …… …… …… …… 363,800 50,000 413,800 165,520 1805. …… …… …… …… …… …… 378,000 40,000 418,000 167,200 1806. …… …… …… …… …… …… 403,300 30,000 433,300 173,320 1807. …… …… …… …… …… …… 770,000 20,000 790,000 316,000 5,000,000 1,250,000 1,000,000 500,000 1,000,000 550,000 2,891,800 1,150,000 13,341,800 5,336,720

The European impost of 777.773 Dollars being supposed to be appropriated to the French debt, there will be a residuum of 217.777 arising on the other articles, according to the calculation of 1783. Suppose this raised to 300,000 Dollars, and appropriated to the Dutch debt; and to be reinforced by the European impost as soon as that shall be liberated from the French debt. The following operation shows the effect.

Dollars Dollars 1791. Residuary impost (that on European articles excluded) supposed raised to 300,000 Demand of 1791 172,000 Surplus (to be so employed immediately as to save or beget a year’s interest) 128,000 300,000 300,000 1792. Surplus of 1791 128,000 Interest (saved or begotten) on that 6,400 Residuary impost 300,000 Demand of 1792 172,000 Surplus 262,0001 434,0002 434,000 1793. Surplus of 1792 262,0001 Interest on that 13,100 Residuary impost 300,000 Demand of 1793 572,000 Surplus 3,100 575,100 575,100 1794. Surplus of 1793 3,100 Interest on that 155 Residuary impost 300,000 Deficit to be borrowed 248,745 248,745 552,000 Demand of 1794 552,000 552,000 1795. Residuary impost 300,000 Deficit to be borrowed 244,437 493,182 244,437 Interest on New loan of 248,745 12,437 Demand of 1795 532,000 544,437 544,437 1796. Residuary impost 300,000 Deficit to be borrowed 236,659 729,841 236,659 Interest on New loan of 493,182 24,659 Demand of 1796 512,000 536,659 536,659 1797. Residuary impost 300,000 Deficit to be borrowed 228,492 958,333 228,492 Interest on New loan of 729,841 36,492 Demand of 1797 492,000 528,492 528,492 1798. Residuary impost 300,000 Interest on New loan of 958,333 47,916 Demand of 1798 152,000 Surplus 100,084 300,000 300,000 1799. Surplus of 1798 100,084 Interest on that 5,004 Residuary impost 300,000 Interest on New loan 47,916 Demand of 1799 228,000 Surplus 129,172 405,088 405,088 1800. Surplus of 1799 129,172 Interest on that 6,458 Residuary impost 300,000 Interest on New loan 47,916 Demand of 1800 220,000 Surplus 435,630 167,714 1801. Surplus of 1800 167,714 Interest on that 8,385 Residuary impost 300,000 Interest on New loan 47,916 Demand of 1801 336,800 Surplus 92,1838 476,099 476,099 1802. Surplus of 1801 92,1833 Interest on that 4,609 Residuary impost 300,000 Interest on New loan 47,916 Demand of 1802 330,200 Surplus 18,676 396,792 396,792 1803. Surplus of 1802 18,676 Interest on that 933 Residuary impost 300,000 Surplus of European impost (now liberated from French debt) 310,422 Interest on New loan 47,916 Demand of 1803 243,680 Surplus 338,435 630,031 630,031 1804. Surplus of 1803 338,435 Interest on that 16,921 Joint impost 1,077,773 Interest on New loan 47,916 Principal of New loan 958,333 Demand of 1804 165,520 Demand of 1805. with a year’s interest subtracted for the anticipation 159,239 Surplus 102,121 1,433,129 1,433,129 1805. Surplus of 1804 102,121 Interest on that 5,106 Joint impost 1,077,773 Demand of 1806, with a year’s interest subtracted 164,734 Demand of 1807, with two years interest subtracted 287,273 Surplus 732,993 1,885,0004 1,885,0004

Recapitulation of the sums necessary to be borrowed, for the preceding plan, in order that the interest, and instalments of principal both in France and Holland may be paid punctually when due.

 France Holland 1791. 2,785,852 1792. 10,711 1793. …… 1794. …… 248,745 1795. …… 244,437 1796. …… 236,659 1797. …… 228,492 2,796,563 958,333 3,754,896

Note, that in this estimate for sinking the Dutch debt, the expences of the loans are not included, nor the expence of collecting the impost.

(: TJ Papers, 44: 7518–24); entirely in TJ’s hand; undated, but see editorial note above. (: TJ Papers, 155: 27133v); entirely in TJ’s hand, containing only the yearly calculations from 1791 to 1803 on the operation for the French debt. (: TJ Papers, 155: 27126); a fair copy in TJ’s hand consisting only of the matter in preceding . (: TJ Papers, 155: 27124–5); entirely in TJ’s hand, containing only the yearly calculations on the operation for the Dutch debt, for the years 1791 to 1807. (: TJ Papers, 234: 41915); a table in TJ’s hand containing only the recapitulation of the occasional loans needed for the French and Dutch debts.

The impost of 5 per cent was estimated in 1783 on goods of all sorts imported from Europe, save tea, brandy, and wine. Total imports were calculated at £3,500,000 sterling, or 15,555,554 dollars, on which the impost was figured at 777,773, the sum used by Jefferson. To this was added in the computation duties on tea, wine, brandy, and non-European imports, bringing the total estimated revenue to 995,550. The residium of 217,777 arising on the other articles was, of course, the former sum subtracted from the latter. For “An estimate of the produce of the impost on imported articles” as made in 1783 by Madison to accompany the “Address to the States,” see description begins Worthington C. Ford and others, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, Washington, D.C., 1904–37, 34 vols. description ends , xxiv, 286–7, and Brant, Madison, ii, 206–36.

1Thus in and in , an error in calculation which caused TJ to make another and which, of course, affected all subsequent figures: the sum should be 262,400.

2Thus in . Having transcribed the foregoing error from , TJ compounded it by assuming that , which has the correct figure 434,400, was wrong.

3Thus in , another error in calculation which affected all subsequent figures. Assuming that the foregoing errors had not been made, the correct sum would have been 91,383.

4Thus in . has the correct figure, 1,185,000.