Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to the President and Directors of the Bank of the United States, 1 January 1793

To the President and Directors of the
Bank of the United States

Treasury Department
January 1. 1793.


I presume it to be your understanding of the matter, as well as mine, that the first installment on account of the two Millions due from the Government to the Bank of The United States, becomes payable, as on this day.1 A proposition to the Legislature, for a more extensive reimbursement, having produced discussions which have retarded a provision for that installment2—I think it incumbent upon me, founding myself on the necessity of the case, to inform you, that I shall consider two hundred Thousand Dollars of the monies in your possession belonging to the United States, as a deposit with you, for the payment of the installment in question; to receive its final and more formal shape as soon as Legislative provision shall be made concerning it.

With respectful consideration   I have the honor to be   Gentlemen   Your most Obedient servt

Alex Hamilton

The President & Directors
of the Bank of The United States

ALS, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

1This sum had been borrowed under the terms of Section 11 of “An Act to incorporate the subscribers to the Bank of the United States” (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America (Boston, 1845). description ends 196 [February 25, 1791]), which provided “That it shall be lawful for the President of the United States, at any time or times, within eighteen months after the first day of April next, to cause a subscription to be made to the stock of the said corporation, … on behalf of the United States, to an amount not exceeding two millions of dollars; to be paid out of the monies which shall be borrowed by virtue of either of the acts, the one entitled ‘An act making provision for the debt of the United States;’ and the other entitled ‘An act making provision for the reduction of the public debt;’ borrowing of the bank an equal sum, to be applied to the purposes, for which the said monies shall have been procured; reimbursable in ten years, by equal annual instalments; or at any time sooner, or in any greater proportions, that the government may think fit.”

2In his “Report on the Redemption of the Public Debt,” November 30, 1792, H had proposed in relation to the debt owed the Bank of the United States that “power be given by law to borrow the sum due, to be applied to that reimbursement; and that so much of the dividend on the stock of the Government in the Bank, as may be necessary, be appropriated for paying the interest of the sum to be borrowed.” H’s report was received by the House of Representatives on December 3, 1792, and on December 21 a bill was presented providing for “the reimbursement of a Loan made of the Bank of the United States.” On December 24 in the course of the debate William B. Giles of Virginia observed that he “was averse to increasing the Debt of the United States by additional loans.… He therefore moved that the section should be stricken out which provides for a loan, in order to substitute a clause providing for the sale of the shares in the Bank, owned by the United States, that the proceeds may be applied to the reimbursement of the Loan.” The debate continued on December 26, but on December 27 a motion that “the House do now proceed to the further consideration of the bill providing for the reimbursement of a Loan made of the Bank of the United States” was defeated (Annals of Congress description begins The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States; with an Appendix, Containing Important State Papers and Public Documents, and All the Laws of a Public Nature (Washington, 1834–1849). description ends , III, 733, 751, 753–61).

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