Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to José Ignacio de Viar, 4 June 1790

To José Ignacio de Viar

New York June 4th. 1790.


On the receipt of the letter of May 18th with which you honored me, I transmitted it to the Secretary of the Treasury for his information, and have now the honor to enclose you his answer with that of the Auditor. You will be pleased to observe, that certain explanations had been promised by Mr. Gardoqui after he should arrive in Spain, and it is believed that this promise was subsequent to the date of his letter of October 5th. 1789 to Mr. Jay, desiring payment to you. If these explanations are come to your hands, a final decision can be had at once; if they are not received and you chuse that the money should be paid, subject to a reallowance of it if those explanations should shew that that would be just, you will observe that the Secretary of the Treasury expresses his readiness to pay it. We are happy on this and every other occasion, to shew our respect for Mr. Gardoqui, and I beg leave to assure you at the same time of the sentiments of respect and esteem with which I have the honor to be &c.,

FC (DNA: RG 59, PCC No. 120). Enclosures: (1) Alexander Hamilton to TJ, 31 May 1790, enclosing auditor’s report and adding: “The promised explanations of the other accounts have not yet been transmitted to this office, but may be in the hands of Mr. Viar. Should that be the case, and should they clear up the uncertainties in the accounts to which they relate, the above balance will be discharged without hesitation. If however these explanations have not yet been received by Mr. Viar, and you find him solicitous for the balance abovementioned, I will take arrangements for its discharge” (same; not recorded in SJL). (2) Oliver Wolcott to Alexander Hamilton, 28 May 1790, saying that he had examined the papers relating to the accounts of Joseph Gardoqui & Sons; that he was “fully of opinion that the amount of their account being 10,057 Rl. vellon 22 mars. … ought to be admitted to their credit” that the “whole of their charges except for 1920 Rials vellon have been already admitted by Thomas Barclay, Esqr. Commissioner of foreign accounts, and are properly credited to them in his books” and that on 8 Oct. 1789 James Gardoqui was furnished by the “late Accountant of the Treasury with statements of other accounts between the public and Messrs. Gardoqui & Sons, relative to which certain explanations were judged to be necessary” and for which purpose, so Wolcott was informed, he engaged to transmit to the secretary of the treasury complete transcripts of all their accounts with the public; and that “If it shall be judged proper that the settlement of this account should proceed without waiting for any explanations relative to other accounts, the business shall be compleated immediately” (same).

Viar’s letter of 18 May 1790 enclosed, in response to TJ’s request, a copy of that from Gardoqui to Jay of 5 Oct. 1789: the latter authorized Viar to receive the sums advanced by Gardoqui to Jay and the American prisoners in Algiers (RC of former in DNA: RG 59, NL, endorsed by TJ as received 18 May 1790 and so recorded in SJL; accompanied by Tr of enclosure).

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