George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Alexander Hamilton, 12 April 1792

From Alexander Hamilton

[Philadelphia] 12th April 1792.

The Secretary of the Treasury has the honor to communicate to the President a resolution of the Trustees of the Sinking Fund as of this morning.1 A particular piece of urgent business prevents personally waiting on the President with it. It is very much to be desired that the resolution may receive the immediate decision of the President. It is upon the same principles with the last.2


1On this day the commissioners of the sinking fund, Hamilton, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Edmund Randolph, empowered the secretary of state “to expend, in the purchase of stock, a further sum, not exceeding two hundred thousand dollars, on the principles of the resolution of the 15th day of August, 1791.” The trustees’ resolution of that date had authorized the purchase of “between three and four hundred thousand dollars” of “Funded stock, bearing a present Interest of six per Centum, at twenty shillings in the Pound. Funded Debt bearing an Interest of three per Centum at twelve shillings in the Pound, and Deferred Debt at twelve shillings and six pence in the Pound.” That resolution also says that “any Surplus of the said Purchase Money or the whole as the case under the preceeding circumstances may be, be applied in the first instance to the purchase of the three pCents and the deferrd Debt as far as they can be obtained, and afterwards to the purchase of funded Stock of six per Cent” (Syrett, Hamilton Papers, description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends 9:67–68). Jefferson, however, dissented from “so much of the above resolution as relates to the purchase of three per cent. and deferred stock” (ibid., 11:272).

2On 4 April the commissioners of the sinking fund had authorized the purchase of $100,000 worth of 3 percent and deferred stock at 5 percent interest. Jefferson dissented from the estimated value of both the 3 percent and the deferred 6 percent stock (ibid., 224–25).

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