From Thomas Jefferson
[Philadelphia, August 31, 1791]
Th: Jefferson presents his respectful compliments to the Secretary of the Treasury and incloses him the proposed letter to the Minister of France,1 in which however he shall be glad to make any modifications of expression to accomodate it more perfectly to the ideas of the Secretary of the Treasury. It will be necessary to shew it in it’s ultimate form to the President before it be sent.
AL, letterpress copy, Thomas Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress; copy, Thomas Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress; AL, Papers of James Madison, Library of Congress.
1. Jean Baptiste de Ternant. The draft of this letter reads as follows: “I have communicated to the President what passed between us the other day on the subject of the payments made to France by the United States in the assignats of that country since they have lost the par with gold and silver; and after conferences by his instruction with the Secretary of the Treasury, I am authorized to inform you that the government have no idea of paying their debt in a depreciated medium, and that they will take measures for making these payments in their just value, avoiding all benefit from depreciation, and desiring on their part to be guarded against any unjust loss from the circumstance of mere exchange” (JCHW description begins John C. Hamilton, ed., The Works of Alexander Hamilton (New York, 1851–1856). description ends , IV, 240).