From Edmund Randolph
Department of State February 4. 1795
I do myself the honor of submitting to your consideration a letter from the late Secretary of the Treasury on the subject of an act passed on the 20th of March last, appropriating to our intercourse with foreign nations an additional million of dollars. He refers to a report, in which he has brought into view the necessity of some further provision, and transmits an extract of a letter from our Commissioners at Amsterdam, conveying the painful intelligence, that reliance cannot be had on the success of the measures heretofore taken for procuring the loan there.1 Although all the necessary powers and instructions have been given for carrying into execution the principal object of that law; I am apprehensive, that the business will be stagnated, unless the most prompt expedients should be adopted. Congress are the sole authority, which can remove the difficulties; and I therefore take the liberty of suggesting the propriety of laying the matter before them.2 I have the honor, Sir, to be with the highest respect Your most obedient servant.
Copy, DNA: RG 46, Third Congress, 1793–95, second session, entry 33; copy, DNA: RG 233, Records of the House of Representatives, Records from Executive Departments; LB, DLC:GW; LB, DNA: RG 59, Domestic Letters. The copy in RG 46 was certified as a “True Copy” by State Department chief clerk George Taylor, Jr.
1. A copy of Alexander Hamilton’s letter to Randolph of 25 Jan. is filed with this letter in DNA: RG 46 (see also Hamilton Papers description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends , 18:183–84). “An Act making further provision for the expenses attending the intercourse of the United States with foreign nations; and further to continue in force the act intituled ‘An act providing the means of intercourse between the United States and foreign nations,’” of 20 March 1794, appropriated $1 million for that purpose, which the president was authorized to borrow (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 345). In his letter Hamilton pointed out that “There is no express appropriation for reimbursing the Loan which may be made, and the specific fund pledged for the interest is of very temporary duration,” and referred to his report on public credit of 16 Jan., where he made similar comments in his “Remarks on the VIIth. Proposition” (Hamilton Papers description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends , 18:46–148).
The extract was from a letter to Hamilton of 26 Sept. 1794 from Willink, Van Staphorst, and Hubbard (DNA: RG 46; for the full letter, see Hamilton Papers description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends , 17:278–81). Responding to Hamilton’s letter of 7 July 1794 about a loan for the negotiations with Algiers (Hamilton Papers description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends , 16:574–75), they warned that “the situation of this Country is such at present, that it is impossible at this moment to foresee when the period will arrive that we may be able to negotiate another Loan for the United States, and the same cause will prevent the success of any temporary arrangement to supply the money until the loan can be completed.” They suggested that instead of waiting, as Hamilton directed, until receiving notification from David Humphreys, “the only probable means of having monies here to make good the object you wish to provide for, is to direct us to open a Loan for the purpose whenever circumstances will allow our doing it with success.”
2. On this date GW sent a copy of this letter and enclosures to Congress with the following message: “I lay before Congress for their consideration, a Letter from the Secretary of State upon the subject of a Loan, which is extremely interesting and urgent” (LS, DNA: RG 46, Third Congress, 1793–95, second session, entry 33; LB, DLC:GW).