Alexander Hamilton Papers

Report on Revenue, Appropriations, and Expenditures, [14 February 1793]

Report on Revenue, Appropriations,
and Expenditures1

Treasury Department
Feby 14th. 1793
[Communicated on February 14, 1793]2

[To the President of the Senate]


I have the honor to transmit herewith in further pursuance of the order of the Senate of the 23rd of January past,3 these several statements marked A.B.C.

A being a general account of revenue and appropriations; exhibiting on one side all the Income of the United States, except from the proceeds of Loans foreign & Domestic, to the end of the year 1792, on the other the respective amounts of all the appropriations which have been made by law to the same period.

B being a general account of appropriations and expenditures to the same end of the year 1792. This statement takes up the excess of the appropriations beyond the Expenditure to the end of the year 1791 as contained in the Account of receipts and expenditures reported to the House of Representatives during the present session,4 and, including all the subsequent appropriations and expenditures to the end of 1792, shews the balance unsatisfied of each head of appropriation.

C being an explanatory statement for the purpose of shewing a conformity between the aggregate of the balances of appropriations unsatisfied and the balance of the Public Income beyond the Public Expenditure, to the end of the year 1792, as represented in the Statement B heretofore reported.

It will be observed that the most considerable item among the balances of appropriations is for interest on the public debt amounting to 1,395,824 Dollars & 65 Cents. This happens in three ways—1 The interest on the foreign part of the debt has been paid in Europe out of the proceeds of the loans—the sum paid will consequently require to be replaced out of the domestic funds and will operate as if an equal sum had been transferred here by drafts. 2d. The payment of interest to certain States upon the difference between their quotas of the assumed debt and the sums subscribed upon the first loan has been suspended in consequence of the opening of the second loan to avoid a double payment of interest, first to the States and next to subscribers; which might otherwise happen. 3rd There is a part of the public debt which has continued in a form that has not entitled the holders under the existing laws to receive interest either as subscribers or non subscribers.5

There are certain arrears of interest on the part of the debt intitled to Interest which did not come into the accounts of the year 1792.

This balance of interest however will be a real future expenditure as indeed will be the case with regard to most of the other balances of appropriations. There will be surplusses, but these surplusses cannot exceed, if they equal, the sum mentioned in my letter of the 4th instant to the House of Representatives.6

With perfect respect   I have the honor to be   Sir   Your obedt Servant

Alex Hamilton
Secy of the Treasy

The Vice President of the
United States &
President of the Senate

LS, RG 46, Second Congress, 1791–1793, Reports of the Secretary of the Treasury, National Archives.

2Annals 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, 647.

5“An Act making provision for the (payment of the) Debt of the United States” (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America (Boston, 1845). description ends 138–44 [August 4, 1790]) had established the terms under which individuals holding certificates of debt issued under the Confederation might subscribe to the funded debt under the new government. Section 10, however, provided: “That such of the creditors of the United States as may not subscribe to the said loan, shall nevertheless receive during the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety-one, a rate per centum on the respective amounts of their respective demands, including interest to the last day of December next, equal to the interest payable to subscribing creditors, to be paid at the same times, at the same places, and by the same persons as is herein before directed, concerning the interest on the stock which may be created in virtue of the said proposed loan. But as some of the certificates now in circulation have not heretofore been liquidated to specie value, as most of them are greatly subject to counterfeit, and counterfeits have actually taken place in numerous instances, and as embarrassment and imposition might, for these reasons, attend the payment of interest on those certificates in their present form, it shall therefore be necessary to entitle the said creditors to the benefit of the said payment, that those of them who do not possess certificates issued by the register of the treasury, for the registered debt, should produce previous to the first day of June next, their respective certificates, either at the treasury of the United States, or to some one of the commissioners to be appointed as aforesaid, to the end that the same may be cancelled, and other certificates issued in lieu thereof; which new certificates shall specify the specie amount of those in exchange for which they are given, and shall be otherwise of the like tenor with those heretofore issued by the said register of the treasury for the said registered debt, and shall be transferable on the like principles with those directed to be issued on account of the subscriptions to the loan hereby proposed.”

Individuals, particularly foreign creditors, who had been unable to exchange their certificates because of the time limitation of “An Act making provision for the (payment of the) Debt of the United States” were relieved by an extension granted by “An Act supplementary to the act making provision for the Debt of the United States” (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America (Boston, 1845). description ends 281–83 [May 8, 1792]). During the operation of both acts, another class of creditors had consistently refused to surrender their certificates. These were the holders of certificates issued between September, 1777, and March, 1778, who were reluctant to exchange them, believing the value of their certificates exceeded their exchange rate at the Treasury. Since some states during the seventeen-eighties had assumed a part of the Continental debt owed to their own citizens and had issued their own securities in place of Continental certificates, further complications in the payment of interest arose out of the operation of Sections 17, 18, and 19 of “An Act making provision for the (payment of the) Debt of the United States,” which defined the terms under which such creditors might become subscribers to the domestic debt.

Index Entries