George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Alexander Hamilton, 20 June 1793

To Alexander Hamilton

Philadelphia 20th June 1793.


I have received & paid attention to your report of the 15th instant.1

The result is, that the Loan of 2,000,000 of florins ought, in my opinion, to be urged without delay, if it can be obtained within the limitations of the Law. The further proposal of borrowing 3,000,000 of florins in addition, I shall (seeing no inconvenience that will arise from the delay) take a few days longer to consider; as some reasons occur against, as well as for the measure, in the present unsettled state of credit, & military & other operations in Europe.2

In the mean time it would contribute to my understanding the subject better, if you was to let me know how the whole sum borrowed under the Acts of the 4th & 12. of August 1790.3 (instead of the sums which have been transferred to the United States) has been applied: And whether the 200,000 dollars, “first installment to the Bank of the U. States,” is a legal charge, under those Acts or any other, in the Account A referred to in the report—Also, whether the 284,901 D. & 89 Cents expanded in the purchase of the public Debt does not appear in the report of the Commissioners of the Sinking fund, or some other report made to Congress last Session as appertaining more properly to the surplus revenue.4

I ask these questions for information,5 because if the answers should be in the affirmative, the difference will be very material, & when added to the balance of 565,484 Dolls. & 28 Cents, as pr your statement A. would, with the 2,000,000 of florins negotiating, cover all the ascertained demands upon the U. States for the years 1793. & 1794, exclusive of what may be required for the Sinking fund; for which you have made no specific appropriation whereby to form an estimate of the aggregate sum required.6

Go. Washington


1Hamilton’s report of 15 June on a proposed new foreign loan was enclosed in his letter to GW of that date.

2For GW’s approval of two new foreign loans, see GW to Hamilton, 27 July, and enclosure, and GW to Hamilton, 8 Aug. 1793 (two letters).

3See “An Act making provision for the [payment of the] Debt of the United States,” 4 Aug. 1790, and “An Act making Provision for the Reduction of the Public Debt,” 12 Aug. 1790 (1 Stat description begins Richard Peters, ed. The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America, from the Organization of the Government in 1789, to March 3, 1845 . . .. 8 vols. Boston, 1845-67. description ends ., 138–44, 186–87).

4For the report that the commissioners of the sinking fund presented to the House of Representatives on 25 Feb. 1793, see ASP, Finance, description begins Walter Lowrie et al., eds. American State Papers. Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States. 38 vols. Washington, D.C., Gales and Seaton, 1832–61. description ends 1:234–48.

5The questions asked reflect those that Jefferson raised in his Second Opinion on a New Foreign Loan, 17 June 1793.

6For Hamilton’s reply, see his letter to GW, 24 June 1793.

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