To Ferdinand Grand
New York April 23d. 1790.
You may remember that we were together at the Hotel de la Monnoye, to see M. Drost strike coins in his new manner, and that you were so kind as to speak with him afterwards on the subject of his coming to America. We are now in a condition to establish a mint, and should be desirous of engaging him in it.1 I suppose him to be at present in the service of Watts and Bolton, the latter of whom you may remember to have been present with us at the Monnoye. I know of no means of communicating our dispositions to Drost so effectually as through your friendly agency; and therefore take the liberty of asking you to write to him to know what emoluments he receives from Watts and Bolton, and whether he would be willing to come to us for the same? If he will, you may give him an expectation, but without an absolute engagement, that we will call for him immediately,2 and that with himself we may probably take and pay him for all the implements of coinage he may have, suited to our purposes.3 If he asks higher terms, he will naturally tell you so, and what they are; and we must reserve a right to consider of them. In either case, I will ask your answer as soon as possible. I need not observe to you that this negociation should be known to nobody but yourself, Drost and Mr. Short.4
The good old Doctor Franklin, so long the ornament of our country and I may say of the world, has at length closed his eminent career: he died on the 17th. instant, of an imposthume of his lungs, which having suppurated and burst, he had not the strength to throw off the matter, and was suffocated by it: his illness from this imposthume was of sixteen days. Congress wear mourning for him by a resolve of their body.—I beg you present my friendly respects to Madame Grand, the elder and younger, and to your son, and believe me to be with sentiments of great esteem and attachment, Dear Sir &c.,
FC (DNA: RG 59, PCC No. 121). Dft (DLC); consisting of first paragraph only, with proposed deletions and alterations in the hand of Alexander Hamilton (see notes below); at head of text: “Draught of a letter to Mr. Grand at Paris.” This letter was enclosed in TJ to Short, 27 Apr. 1790.
It was evidently soon after TJ submitted his report of 14 Apr. 1790 to the speaker of the house of representatives on the subject of coinage that he prepared the draft of this letter and submitted it to the secretary of the treasury. Hamilton returned it to TJ with the following memorandum, dated “Thursday,” which TJ endorsed and recorded in SJL as received 22 Apr. 1790—evidently the same day: “Mr. Hamilton returns to Mr. Jefferson the draft of the letter to Mr. Grand, with his thanks for the trouble Mr. J. is so obliging as to take. Mr. Hamilton has used the liberty given him of indicating some alterations, less from any reserves in his own mind, than from uncertainty respecting the views of others. It is proposed that the words between ║ ║ should be omitted and those interlined inserted” (RC in DLC). TJ accepted all of Hamilton’s proposed changes (see notes).
1. As originally phrased by TJ in Dft, this passage read: “there is no person we would be so desirous of placing at the head of it as him.” Hamilton drew vertical lines about the proposed deletions and interlined his own alterations, making the passage read as above.
2. As originally phrased by TJ in Dft, this passage read: “you may give him every degree of expectation short of an absolute engagement that we will call for him immediately.” Hamilton drew vertical lines about the proposed deletions and interlined his own alterations, making the passage read as above.
3. This clause was interlined in Dft, possibly after Hamilton saw it, and reads: “and that with him we will take and pay him for all of the implements of coinage that he may have suited to our purpose.” TJ altered the text to read as above, but without making any indication of the change in Dft.
4. Dft ends at this point and reads: “… known to nobody but yourself and Drost” here also TJ altered the text to read as above, but without making any indication of the change in Dft.