From George Washington
Philadelphia Jany 1st. 1793
After reading the enclosed letter1 return it to me. My sentiments on the general principle your are acquainted with. With the one handed, under this cover, do as shall seem best to you in the case before us, & let me know the result; or, if you chuse it, I am ready to confer further with you on the subject.
I am always Your Sincere frd & sr
ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.
1. The enclosure is presumably Thomas Jefferson’s opinion on the request made by Antoine René Charles Mathurin de La Forest in a letter to H, December 27, 1792, which H had transmitted to Washington on December 29. La Forest had requested that advances be made on the salaries of the French consuls in the United States from the payments owed France. Jefferson’s letter to Washington, dated January 1, 1793, reads in part as follows: “I have duly considered the translation of the letter of Dec. 27 from M. de la Forest stating that the French Consuls here have a right to receive their salaries at Paris, that under the present circumstances they cannot dispose of their bills, and desiring that our government will take them as a remittance in part of the monies we have to pay France.… I do not observe any objection from the treasury that this channel of remittance would be out of the ordinary line and inadmissible on that account. Taking it therefore on the ground merely of an advance unauthorized by the French government, I think the Bills may be taken. We have every reason to believe the money is due to them, and none to doubt it will be paid every creditor being authorized to draw on his debtor. They will be paid indeed, in assignats, at the nominal value only, but it is previously understood that these will procure cash on the ⟨receipt⟩ of the real value we shall have paid for them. The risk, if any, is certainly very small, and such as it would be expedient in us to encounter in order to oblige these gentlemen. I think it of real value to produce favorable dispositions in the agents of foreign nations here” (ALS, letterpress copy, Thomas Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress).