George Washington Papers

Tobias Lear to Alexander Hamilton, 13 October 1789

Tobias Lear to Alexander Hamilton

United States October 13th 1789


The sum of two thousand five Dollars is necessary to be advanced to take up notes which were given for money advanced for the household of the President of the United States previous to the organization of the Treasury Department.1

This sum added to two thousand Dollars which you have already advanced for the purpose of taking up Notes, will compleat the payment of all Monies advanced for the use of the President of the United States previous to your coming into Office—One thousand Dollars will likewise be wanting for the President and a Dft on Boston for five hundred2—In my absence Mr Robt Lewis will draw from you such money as may be wanting for the use of the House-hold during the journey of the President. I have the honor to be with perfect respect Sir Yr most Obt Servant

Tobias Lear

S. P. U. States


1From this time on Tobias Lear periodically submitted requests to the Treasury Department for sums of money for expenses to be deducted from the president’s yearly compensation of $25,000. The Treasury Department in turn issued warrants for the sums requested. Since GW came to New York in April with very little in the way of personal funds (see GW to Richard Conway, 4, 6 Mar. 1789, and to Mathew Carey, 22 May 1789), it is likely that most bills for household expenses were not settled until the organization of the Treasury Department in September.

2These funds were intended to cover the expenses of the presidential party on GW’s New England tour. An entry in the household accounts made after GW’s return to New York indicates that the expenses of the trip totaled £276.9.8½ (CtY: Household Accounts, 21).

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