Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Jean Baptiste de Ternant, 26 February 1793

From Jean Baptiste de Ternant1

Philadelphie 26 fevr. 1793
l’an 2 de la Répe. francaise

Le M. d. f. au secretaire de la trésorerie

J’ai l’honneur de vous addresser cy-jointe la copie d’une lettre du secretaire d’état,2 en vous priant de me faire connoitre à quelles époques le reste des trois millions mentionés dans cette lettre pourra etre acquitté par la tresorerie des Etats unis. Vous sentirez indubitablement, combien il importe au bien du service à effectuer avec ces fonds, que les payemens en soient immédiats ou au moins trés prochains.

LC, Arch. des Aff. Etr., Corr. Pol. Etats-Unis, Supplement Vol. 20.

1For background to this letter, see Tobias Lear to H, February 8, 1793, and “Cabinet Meeting. Opinion on Furnishing Three Million Livres Agreeably to the Request of the French Minister,” February 25, 1793.

Following the agreement of the cabinet at its meeting on February 25, 1793, to advance the money, the President wrote to Thomas Jefferson on February 26 that “The Minister of France may, as soon as he pleases, make arrangements with the Secretary of the Treasury for the payment of Three Million of Livres on account of the debt due from the U: States to France (including the one hundred thousand dollars already ordered, in part) …” (ALS, Thomas Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress).

2Although H in his letter to Ternant of February 26, 1793, refers to this enclosure as “also of this date,” it is presumably the letter dated February 25, 1793, from Jefferson to Ternant. This letter reads as follows: “In my letter of the 14th. inst. I had the honor to mention to you that it would take some days to estimate the probable calls on the treasury of the U. S. and to judge whether your application for three millions of livres to be laid out in provisions for the supply of France, could be complied with, but that in the mean time an hundred thousand dollars could be furnished in order to enable you to commence your operations. I have now to add that the residue of the three millions can be furnished on account, if you will be so good as to arrange with the Secretary of the Treasury such epochs as may be accomodated to the circumstances of the Treasury and to your operations also. We have very sincere pleasure in shewing on every possible occasion our earnest desire to serve your nation, and the interest we take in it’s present situation” (ALS, letterpress copy, Thomas Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress).

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