George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Alexander Hamilton, 24 July 1793

From Alexander Hamilton

Treasury Depmt 24 July 1793.


In answer to your enquiry of the 22d inst. I have the honor to observe that in the communications heretofore made, it is stated, that an additional two millions of Guilders had been already directed to be borrowed & a proposition is submitted to the consideration of the President for authorising a further loan of three millions of florins.1

One of the objects of the two million loan was the reimbursement of the one million which became due in Holland on the first of June last.2

The arrangement announced by our bankers in their Letter of the 1st of May last,3 fulfills that object, & consequently diminishes by one million the aggregate sum deemed adviseable to be borrowed, in the late Reports of the Secretary to the President, so as to leave four millions, instead of five, to be still borrowed upon the plan contemplated.4

The remittances from hence make no difference in the result, because they only remain to their original fund, the purpose for which they were intended having been answered by the arrangement above mentioned.5 With perfect respect, I have the honor to be sir &ca

Alexr Hamilton


1For Hamilton’s earlier instructions to U.S. diplomat William Short to seek a loan of two million guilders (florins) and for Hamilton’s request for an additional loan, see his letter to GW of 3 June, and note 3. See also Hamilton’s Report on Obtaining New Foreign Loans, dated 15 June and enclosed in Hamilton to GW, 15 June 1793. According to Section 4 of “An Act making Provision for the Reduction of the Public Debt,” 12 Aug. 1790, the president was authorized to borrow $2 million for payment of the U.S. debt (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 ., 187).

2On the 1782 Dutch loan of 10 million livres (5 million florins), see Bayley, National Loans description begins Rafael A. Bayley. The National Loans of the United States, from July 4, 1776, to June 30, 1880. 1881. Reprint. New York, 1970. description ends , 15–17.

3For the letter to Hamilton of 1 May 1793 from the Dutch banking firm of Willink, Van Staphorst & Hubbard, see Hamilton to GW, 19 July, and note 1.

4For Hamilton’s earlier reports on the financial status of the United States and the need for further loans, see Hamilton to GW, 18 Mar., and 3, 15, 24 June 1793.

5For GW’s approval of new loans, see GW to Hamilton, 27 July, and enclosure, and GW to Hamilton, 8 Aug. 1793 (first and second letters).

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