Alexander Hamilton Papers

Report on Loans Negotiated in Europe Not Already Laid Before the Legislature, [27 May 1794]

Report on Loans Negotiated in Europe Not Already
Laid Before the Legislature

[Philadelphia, May 27, 1794
Communicated on May 27, 1794]1

[To the Speaker of the House of Representatives]

The Secretary of the Treasury in obedience to the Order of the House of Representatives of the 26th instant2 respectfully makes the following Report:

The only Loan which has been negotiated in Europe, the particulars of which have not already been communicated to the House of Representatives, is one for three Millions of Florins, which our Commissioners at Amsterdam in a letter of the 27th of December last3 announce to have been set on foot, pursuant to instructions of the 12th of August4 preceding, to be dated the first of January 1794, the Interest 5 per Cent and the Charges 5 per Cent, reimbursable in five equal annual Instalments, beginning the first of January 1805, and ending the first of January 1809.5

Further particulars concerning this Loan will appear from the abovementioned Letter of the Commissioners, a Copy of which is herewith transmitted.

Another Letter of the 4th. of February from the same Commissioners informs that the Subscription upon the Loan had been extended to 1,644,000 Florins.

The Secretary has drawn for a part of the proceeds of this Loan.6 Its Bills are Selling at 42 Cents per Guilder upon a Credit of Sixty days, with Interest at 6 per Cent from the time of purchase.

This Loan pursuant to Instructions from the President,7 which preceded its negotiation, is specifically appropriated to the purchase of the public Debt.8

All which is respectfully submitted.

Alexander Hamilton
Secy. of the Treasury.

Copy, RG 233, Reports of the Secretary of the Treasury, 1784–1795, Vol. IV, National Archives; copy, RG 233, Reports of the Secretary of the Treasury, Third Congress, National Archives.

1Journal of the House description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States (Washington, 1826), I, II. description ends , II, 182. The communicating letter may be found in RG 233, Reports of the Secretary of the Treasury, 1784–1795, Vol. IV, National Archives.

2On May 26, 1794, the House “Resolved, That the Secretary of the Treasury lay before this House such information, respecting any loans, negotiated in Europe for the United States, as he may be possessed of, and which has not already been laid before the Legislature, and the purposes to which they stand appropriated” (Journal of the House description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States (Washington, 1826), I, II. description ends , II, 179).

This request arose as a result of consideration by the House of legislation authorizing an advance of money to Jean Antoine Joseph Fauchet, French Minister to the United States. On March 18 Washington sent to Congress the following message: “The Minister Plenipotentiary of the French republic having requested an advance of money, I transmit to Congress certain documents relative to that subject.” The President enclosed correspondence between Secretary of State Edmund Randolph and Fauchet concerning the latter’s request for “at least a million dollars” advance on the money owed to France by the United States (ASP description begins American State Papers, Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States (Washington, 1832–1861). description ends , Foreign Relations, I, 427–28). For information on Fauchet’s request, see “Cabinet Meeting. Opinion on a Request for Payment of Installments on the French Debt,” March 11, 1794; Randolph to William Bradford, H, and Henry Knox, March 13, 1794; H to Washington, March 18, 1794. Washington’s letter to Congress and the papers accompanying it were referred to a select committee, which reported on April 17. On May 24 this report was referred to a Committee of the Whole House, which after debate on May 26 adopted the resolution printed above. (Annals 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 , IV, 524, 600, 721, 722–23).

3See Willink, Van Staphorst, and Hubbard to H, December 27, 1793, January 14, 1794.

5For the discussion between H and Washington over the application of this loan, see H to Washington, April 21, 23, 25, 28, 1794; Washington to H, April 22, 24, 27, 1794.

7See Washington to H, July 27, August 8, 1793.

8On May 27, 1794, H’s report was read and referred to “the Committee of the Whole House to whom was referred the Message from the President of the United States, of the 18th of March last, relative to an advance of money requested by the Minister Plenipotentiary of the French Republic” (Annals 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 , IV, 726). On May 28 William B. Giles of Virginia offered the following resolution: “That the President of the United States be authorized and requested to apply the proceeds of the Loan of three millions of florins, lately obtained in Holland, towards the discharge of the debt remaining due to France; or to the protection and defence of the United States, if, in his opinion, the same should be found necessary for that purpose, any appropriation to the contrary notwithstanding” (Annals 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 , IV, 727–28). This motion was adopted, and on May 29 a bill was presented to the House “providing for the payment of a certain sum of money to the French Republic” (Annals 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 , IV, 729, 731). The bill passed the House on May 31, but was rejected by the Senate on June 7 (Annals 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 , IV, 739, 741, 129–30).

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