George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Alexander Hamilton, 12 August 1793

From Alexander Hamilton

Treasury Departmt Augt 12. 1793.


From the circumstance of Mr Short’s being at Madrid,1 delay, without advantage, would attend the addressing to him the instruction for making the intended additional Loan.2 The persons to execute must in this situation be our Commissioners at Amsterdam. I therefore submit whether it will not be adviseable to address the instruction to them in the first instance. As a vessel goes to Amsterdam tomorrow, I request, if convenient, an answer to this inquiry in the course of today.3 With the most perfect respect, I have the honor to be &c.

Alexander Hamilton


1William Short, who was the U.S. minister at The Hague, in the Netherlands, was currently in Madrid because he also had a commission to negotiate an agreement with the Spanish government regarding the American right of navigation on the Mississippi River. For this appointment and for other topics being discussed with Spanish officials, see GW to U.S. Senate, 11 Jan. 1792, Thomas Jefferson to GW, 7 Mar. 1792 (second letter), and enclosure of the same date, and 18 Mar. 1792, n.1.

2For the proposed loan of three million florins, see GW to Hamilton, 27 July 1793, and enclosure of the same date.

3The United States frequently employed the Amsterdam banking firm of Willink, Van Staphorst & Hubbard to handle the nation’s finances in Europe. Tobias Lear informed Hamilton in a letter of this same date that GW agreed that “it would be best to address the instructions for this business immediately to our Commissioners at Amsterdam” (DLC:GW). For Hamilton’s letter to Willink, Van Staphorst & Hubbard of 12 Aug. 1793, see 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).

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