Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to William Skinner, 12 August 1791

To William Skinner

Treasury Department
August 12th. 1791.


In the hurry of writing my letter to you of the 2nd instant1 an idea is expressed which does not conform to my real intention, namely that the Certificates of State Debt of which there are no Registers nor other checks, should be sent to the Treasury for examination previous to their admission by you as valid.

The reasons which dictated this regulation in regard to Certificates of Federal debt,2 not being applicable to State Debt, it was never intended that it should extend to the latter.

You will therefore forbear to send onto the Treasury for previous examination the certificates of State Debt, ascertaining their authenticity in the best manner which circumstance will permit you will receive on loan all such as shall appear to you genuine. The enclosed extract of a letter of Hugh Williamson3 Esquire points out guides which appear to me capable of being useful to you. I have received information that the State of North Carolina has passed a law for subscribing its own certificates which had been redeemed or called in.4 On this point I refer you to my circular of the 1st. November. Nevertheless if the thing should be pressed upon you, you may receive the Certificates offered by the State and give a receipt expressing that they are to be submitted to the Secretary of the Treasury for his decision. And you will then inform me of the matter and receive my final determination, in order to which I shall perhaps take the advice of the Attorney General.

I am yours &c

A. H.

William Skinner Esquire
Commissioner of Loans.

Copy, North Carolina Department of Archives and History, Raleigh. This letter was enclosed in H’s “Report to the Governor of North Carolina,” July 31, 1794.

1Letter not found.

3Williamson was a member of the House of Representatives from North Carolina. Letter not found.

4A “bill for subscribing on loan, in the office of the Commissioners of the United States, such continental monies and continental and state securities as are or may be in the hands of the Treasurer or Comptroller of this state belonging to the public, or which shall be in the hands of either of them on the last day of September next…” had been considered in the North Carolina legislature during November and December, 1790. Final action, however, was postponed until the following fall (Journal of the House of Commons. North Carolina. At a General Assembly begun and held at Fayetteville, on the first day of November, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety, and in the fifteenth year of the independence of the United States of America: Being the first session of this Assembly [Edenton: Printed by Hodge & Wills, n.d.], 43, 44, 60, 62, 78).

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