George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Alexander Hamilton, 8 August 1793

To Alexander Hamilton

[Philadelphia, 8 August 1793]

The present being, & being likely to continue for some time a favorable season for purchases of the Public Debt, and as it appears that the whole; or the greatest part of the unexpended monies of the foreign loans heretofore made will be requisite for satisfying the approaching installments of our Debt to France, which it has been judged expedient to pay without deduction for any prior advance. It appearing moreover from the statements submitted by you to my consideration, that of the sum authorised to be borrowed by the Act intitled “an Act making provision for the reduction of the Public debt,” there may still be procured for the purpose of that act the sum of one million five hundred & fifteen thousand & ninety eight Dollars & Eleven cents:1

I do therefore direct & require that you take immediate measures for obtaining a Loan or Loans to the extent of the sum aforesaid, to be applied to purchases of the public debt pursuant to the provisions of the act above mentioned.2

Provided always that the terms & conditions of the said loan or loans shall be accordng to Law.

Given under my hand at Philada the Eighth day of Augt 1793.

Go. Washington


1On the need for a new loan to pay the public debt and for financial statements concerning U.S. loans, see Hamilton to GW, 15 June, and the enclosed Report on Obtaining New Foreign Loans, and Hamilton to GW, 24 June, and note 1. On the $100,000 advance payment made to France earlier this year, see GW to Thomas Jefferson, 26 Feb. 1793, and note 1. For the total debt to France, see the U.S. Contract with France of 16 July 1782 (Miller, Treaties description begins Hunter Miller, ed. Treaties and Other International Acts of the United States of America. Vol. 2, 1776-1818. Washington, D.C., 1931. description ends , 48–58). Section 4 of “An Act making Provision for the Reduction of the Public Debt,” 12 Aug. 1790, authorized the President to borrow “a sum or sums not exceeding in the whole two millions of dollars, at an interest not exceeding five per cent” (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 ., 186–87).

2For Hamilton’s arrangement of a new loan, see his letter to the Dutch banking firm of Willink, Van Staphorst & Hubbard of 12 Aug. and their reply of 12 Dec. 1793, Hamilton Papers description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends , 15:231–32, 593–96.

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