Thomas Jefferson Papers

Summary of British Debt Claims, [July 1801 or after]

Summary of British Debt Claims

[July 1801 or after]

British claims under the VIth. article, distinguished into Classes, including interest to different dates within the year 1798.

£ s d sterl
for interest during the war alone. 120,645- 11- 1 ¼
for paiments into the Treasuries, Loan offices &c. 171,795- 0 6 ½
on acct of impediments under the instalment laws of S. Carolina. 337,868- 2- 0
for alledged unlawful decisions of courts. 24,658- 4- 3 ¾
by firms in part citizens of the US. 162,483- 12- 4 ¾
debts due from states late provinces 4,839- 14- 0
all description of refugees except N. Carolina. 753,182- 4- 2 ¾
on account of debts discharged in depreciated1 paper money 205,795- 15- 5 ½
Proprietary debts 296,775- 13- 8
Legal impediments generally 3,560,585- 10- 4 ½
24,809,969.37 D.= 5,638,629- 8- 1

MS (DLC: TJ Papers, 30:41686); undated; entirely in TJ’s hand; endorsed by TJ: “British debts.”

On 17 July 1801, Griffith Evans, secretary to the board of commissioners created to carry out Article 6 of the Jay Treaty, sent Madison “a statement of the Claims” received by the board. TJ saw the statement by 27 July, since on that day in his letter to Thomas Mann Randolph he referred to the $25 million total. Evans’s statement grouped the claims by categories or classes. In the document above, TJ copied the heading and the amount for each category in the statement, omitting Evans’s explanatory remarks about the categories. Evans indicated in his cover letter to Madison that interest on the claims had been calculated to the beginning of 1798 “in most cases.” TJ also copied Evans’s figures for the total amount of the claims in pounds sterling and in U.S. dollars. Unable to ascertain if the conversion rate specified by Congress was 4.40 or 4.44 dollars per pound sterling, Evans used the 4.40 figure. Noting the “loose and irregular manner” in which the claims were presented to the commissioners, Evans expressed his opinion to Madison that “there are a few claims & parts of claims so extremely wide of the universal understanding of the Treaty, that as well from their extravagance, as from other reasons collected from existing circumstances I am impressed with the opinion they will not be prosecuted” (Moore, International Adjudications description begins John Bassett Moore, ed., International Adjudications, Modern Series, Volume III: Arbitration of Claims for Compensation for Losses and Damages Resulting from Lawful Impediments to the Recovery of Pre-War Debts, New York, 1931 description ends , 22, 353–5; Madison, Papers, Sec. of State Ser. description begins J. C. A. Stagg, ed., The Papers of James Madison, Secretary of State Series, Charlottesville, 1986–, 8 vols. description ends , 1:435).

1Word interlined by TJ, to make his summary match the wording of Evans’s statement.

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