Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to Jean Baptiste de Ternant, 13 January 1793

To Jean Baptiste de Ternant1

Treasury Department
January 13. 1793


I think it proper to apprise you that under the existing circumstances the Registry of your “delegations” or drafts cannot be made at the Treasury as desired by your letter of the seventh instant.2

With respect I have the honor to be   Sir   Your obedient servant

Alexander Hamilton

The Minister Plenipotentiary
of the Republic of France

ALS, Arch. des Aff. Etr., Corr. Pol., Etats-Unis description begins Transcripts or photostats from the French Foreign Office deposited in the Library of Congress. description ends , Vol. 20.

2No letter of this date from Ternant to H has been found. This may be a reference to Ternant to Thomas Jefferson, February 7, 1793 (letterpress copy, Thomas Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress) concerning Santo Domingo. In his letter to Jefferson of January 7, Ternant transmitted a request made to him by Léger Félicité Sonthonax, one of the civil commissioners of Santo Domingo, for additional aid (Sonthonax to Ternant, December 9, 1792, letterpress copy, Thomas Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress). Ternant also requested that the United States assume responsibility for the drafts which had been issued by the government of Santo Domingo and had not yet been settled, and for a further sum of money to complete the four million livres voted by the French Assembly in its decree of June 26, 1792.

On January 14 Jefferson wrote to Ternant to inform him that the President had approved the French Minister’s proposal. Jefferson then added: “I have however, Sir, to ask the favor of you to take arrangements with the Administration of St. Domingo, so as that future supplies from us, should they be necessary, may be negotiated here, before they are counted on and drawn for there. Bills on the French Agents here to be paid by us, amount to Bills on us; and it is absolutely necessary that we be not subject to calls, which have not been before calculated and provided for …” (letterpress copy, Thomas Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress).

Washington’s approval of this arrangement was given in Tobias Lear to Jefferson, January 14, 1793 (ALS, RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters, 1790–1799, National Archives).

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