Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Gouverneur Morris, 30 June 1784

From Gouverneur Morris

Philadelphia 30 June 1784

Dear Hamilton

This is rather a late Period to acknowlege yours of the seventh of April. I have lived in the constant Intention to answer it & I now execute my Purpose. But why not sooner? Procrastination is the Thief of Time says Doctor Young. I meant to have written fully on the Subject of the Gold. But I waited some Informations from Annapolis1 on the Probability of a Mint.2 I afterwards intended a long Letter upon a Subject I mentioned to Mr. Seton3 viz a Coalition between your Bank and the national Bank. I do not find either Party inclined to it. And yet both would be the better for it. You I believe will soon be out of B[ank] Cash unless it should take Place. I would say a great Deal on this Subject but it would be very useless. When you find your Cash diminish very fast remind Seton of my Predictions and let him tell you what they were. If the Legislature should attempt to force Paper Money down your Throats it would be a good Thing to be somewhat independent of them. But I must check myself or I shall go too far into a Business which would plague us both to no Purpose. It shall be left therefore untill we meet.

This Letter was intended for nothing else than to assure you of the Continuance of my Esteem. Present me (if you do not dislike the Term) affectionately to Mrs. Hamilton. At any Rate believe me    very affectionately yours

Gouv Morris

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1The Continental Congress was meeting at Annapolis.

2As early as 1782, Gouverneur Morris, then the assistant financier, had drawn up a plan for an American coinage. Although the subject was discussed in Congress, nothing was done until 1784 when Thomas Jefferson was appointed one of a committee to consider the coinage. Jefferson, relying on Morris’s plan but making important changes in it, recommended a plan to Congress. It was not until 1786, however, that Congress decided on the coins to be used and thus made necessary the establishment of a mint. Consonant with a recommendation made by the Board of Treasury, the Continental Congress adopted on October 16, 1786, “An Ordinance for the establishment of the Mint of the United States of America, and for regulating the value and alloy of Coin” (JCC description begins Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (Washington, 1904–1937). description ends , XXXI, 876).

3William Seton, cashier of the Bank of New York, had been sent to Philadelphia to consult with officials of the Bank of North America.

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