Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to Rufus King, 2 May 1793

To Rufus King

Philadelphia May 2d. 1793

The failures in England will be so seriously felt in this Country as to involve a real crisis in our money concerns.1 I anxiously wish you could be here to assist in the operations of the Bank of the UStates2—never was there a time, which required more the Union of Courage & Prudence, than the present and approaching Juncture. You can imagine all that I could add on this subject. Is it impossible for you to spend a month with us?

Yrs. truly

A Hamilton

R King Esqr

ALS, New-York Historical Society, New York City.

1A severe commercial crisis occurred in England soon after the outbreak of war between that country and France. The financial panic beginning in March, 1793, resulted in numerous failures among British banks and in a steadily increasing number of bankruptcies throughout the spring of that year. David Macpherson describes this crisis as follows: “The funds immediately felt the shock. The three-per-cents, which had been at 97⅛ in March 1792, and had been gradually depressed by the apprehension of war, now, on the certainty of it, fell almost instantaneously from 79⅞ to 70½. But they rose again as soon as April to 81; and, though they never afterwards came near to 80, yet they kept for a long time at prices rather higher than could be expected, owing to the men of property on the continent pouring their money into our funds, which they thought the most secure deposit in Europe” (David Macpherson, Annals of Commerce, Manufactures, Fisheries, and Navigation, with Brief Notices of the Arts and Sciences Connected with Them. Containing the Commercial Transactions of the British Empire and Other Countries, From the Earliest Accounts to the Meeting of the Union Parliament in January 1801; and Comprehending the Most Valuable Part of the Late Mr. Anderson’s History of Commerce … [London, 1805], IV, 264).

2King was a director of the Bank of the United States.

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