George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Hugh Nelson, 3 July 1790

From Hugh Nelson

Yorktown, Va., 3 July 1790. Applies for the imminent opening of federal commissioner of loans for Virginia.1


Hugh Nelson (1750–1800) of York County, Va., was the younger brother of former Virginia governor Thomas Nelson and uncle of Hugh Nelson (1768–1856) and GW’s secretary, Thomas Nelson, Jr. He attended the College of William and Mary before the Revolution, was appointed a judge of the county court in 1771, and married the eldest daughter of John Page, a member of the Virginia governor’s council. Nelson was appointed lieutenant colonel of the Elizabeth City regiment in 1775, served in both houses of the Virginia legislature in the 1770s and 1780s, and was made a trustee of Yorktown in 1784.

1On 2 June 1790 “An Act making provision for the [payment of the] Debt of the United States” was agreed to by the House and sent to the Senate. After a month and a half of debating and amending this bill which involved federal assumption of state Revolutionary War debts and other controversial measures, the Senate returned it to the House on 21 July. The Funding Act, which GW signed on 4 Aug. 1790, created commissioners in each state to collect old loan certificates and to superintend subscriptions to a new loan. The annual salary of Virginia’s loan commissioner was set at $1,500. GW nominated John Hopkins as commissioner of loans in Virginia on 6 Aug. 1790 (GW to the U.S. Senate, 6 Aug. 1790 [second letter]; DHFC description begins Linda Grant De Pauw et al., eds. Documentary History of the First Federal Congress of the United States of America, March 4, 1789-March 3, 1791. 20 vols. to date. Baltimore, 1972–. description ends , 2:89, 3:442–43 and note 9, 523, 526, 527–29, 530–34, 539–41, 547, 5:713–937; 1 Stat., description begins Richard Peters, ed. The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America, from the Organization of the Government in 1789, to March 3, 1845 . . .. 8 vols. Boston, 1845-67. description ends 138–44).

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