Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Joseph Ward, 1 January 1799

From Joseph Ward1

Boston, January 1, 1799. “… your sentiments if now communicated to energettic members of Congress might at this time do much good by preventing a lasting dishonor to the Government. The long injured creditors who hold the New Emission Bills, now lodged in the Treasury, have their petition2 before the Senate, where a decision may be expected soon. But from past experience of disregard to the sacred pledge of national faith, to pay the Int. on this debt, the creditors have prepared an Appeal to Congress, to be published before the close of this session, in case no provision shall be made, & therein state the parts which prove that they are deprived of their right & property in direct violation of the pledged faith of the United States, & defrauded in opposition to every thing sacred in law, & the constitution.… The creditors wished to communicate these sentiments, & their intentions, to you, that your wisdom & patriotism might be employed to correct this error in govt. before the knowledge of it is made known to the world.…”

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1Ward was a Boston stockbroker and real estate dealer. For earlier correspondence on the subject of the letter printed above, see H to Ward, May 26, 1791, May 6, 1793; Ward to H, February 18, 1793.

2In 1795, 1796, and 1798, Ward and several others petitioned Congress for payment to holders of new emission bills. In each instance Congress refused to act on the petitions. For these petitions and their reception in Congress, see Journal of the House description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States (Washington, 1826). description ends , II, 388, 629; III, 202, 221–23; 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 , VII, 517, 522; IX, 3659–61. For the act authorizing the new emission bills, see JCC description begins Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (Washington, 1904–1937). description ends , XVI, 263–66. See also Charles Pettit to H, April 30, 1791, note 3; “Report on a Plan for the Further Support of Public Credit,” January 16, 1795.

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