George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Alexander Hamilton, 15 June 1793

From Alexander Hamilton

Philadelphia June 15. 1793


The inclosed report will I trust make it appear that there are good reasons, relative to the execution of the purposes specified in the laws for making a further loan to the extent proposed.1

But bottoming the proceeding upon the direct object of the laws, as the legal and primary inducement, it appears to me justifiable and wise to embrace as secondary and collateral motives the probable operation of the measure on the public interests in ways not immediately indicated in the laws. On this ground I think the legal considerations for a further loan are enforced by the general state of affairs at the present Juncture. Should a general Indian War ensue2 & still more should we unfortunately be involved in a European War,3 nothing could be more convenient than to have anticipated such a resource, which the Legislature might apply to the new exigencies, as far as regards the purchase of the Debt, without any violation of principle.

In the event of a European War breaking out, it would probably be too late to attempt what beforehand would be practicable without difficulty. With perfect respect & the truest attachment I have the honor to be Sir Your most Obedt & humble servant

A. Hamilton

ALS, DLC:GW; copy, DLC: Hamilton Papers.

1The relevant laws are “An Act making provision for the [payment of the] Debt of the United States,” 4 Aug. 1790, and “An Act making Provision for the Reduction of the Public Debt,” 12 Aug. 1790 (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, 186–87). For Hamilton’s report, see the enclosure below. On Hamilton’s proposal for a new Dutch loan and GW’s request for more information, see Hamilton to GW, 3 June, and note 3, and GW to Hamilton, 6 June, 1793.

2On current U.S. efforts to prevent war with the Indians in the Northwest Territory, see Henry Knox to Tobias Lear, 5 June, n.1. On simultaneous preparations by the U.S. Army for war with the northern Indians, see Knox to GW, 7 June, and notes. On difficulties with the southern Indians, see Knox to Lear, 15 June, n.1.

3For previous U.S. efforts to avoid becoming entangled in the war in Europe, see GW’s Neutrality Proclamation, 22 April, Cabinet Opinion on French Privateers, 1 June, and Cabinet Opinion, 12 June 1793.

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