James Madison Papers

Notes on Documents from the Secretary of the Treasury, ca. 15–19 February 1793 (Abstract)

Notes on Documents from the
Secretary of the Treasury

Abstract. Ca. 15–19 February 1793. A summary outline of the official documents and letters that the secretary of the treasury presented to the House of Representatives in response to the 23 Jan. 1793 resolutions introduced by William Branch Giles calling for information on the repayment of loans owed to France since the American Revolution.1 Most of the first page relates to Hamilton’s correspondence with Amsterdam bankers, and all of the second page calendars and abstracts letters from Hamilton to William Short. At the bottom of the first page JM wrote: “On the note to Mr. S. of Novr. 26. 92. Quer. as to General discretion / Quer. if communicated to P. / Quer. Might not the money have been secured in Bank of Amsterdam / Quer. if uncertainty of waiting for orders in Europe, not a pretext to the arrangemt. wth the Bank / Quer. if apology necessary for the provisional step in absence of P. why proceed witht. him when on the spot—if so.”

Ms (DLC). A two-page document, in JM’s hand and docketed by him, probably at a later time, “Notes as to Charges vs Secy Treasury brought by Mr Giles’ Resolns.” In the margin of the first page, beside the list of letters to the Dutch banking firm, appears a note in an unknown hand: “Nothing secret, but little worth printing.” Dated 31 Dec. 1792 in the Index to the James Madison Papers. Conjectural date assigned on the basis of circumstances described in n. 1.

1For Giles’s resolutions, see Annals of Congress description begins Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States, 1789–1824 (42 vols.; Washington, 1834–56). description ends , 2d Cong., 2d sess., 835–36, 840. Hamilton responded with his “Report on Foreign Loans” of 13 Feb. 1793. As chairman of the select committee that examined the documents submitted with that report, JM on 15 and 19 Feb. recommended to the House that selected papers be published (Syrett and Cooke, Papers of Hamilton description begins Harold C. Syrett and Jacob E. Cooke, eds., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton (26 vols.; New York, 1961–79). description ends , XIV, 17–26, 18 nn. 4, 5; Dunlap’s Am. Daily Advertiser, 18 and 22 Feb. 1793).

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