The Works of Alexander Hamilton: Cabinet papers. 1789-1794
Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.
Publisher: Date:8/5/2009 - General Books LLC
By: Alexander Hamilton
Excerpt from book: HAMILTON TO WILLIAM SHORT. New York, October 7, 1789. I think it probable you will have learnt, through other channels, before this reaches you, my appointment as Secretary of the Treasury of the United States. In this capacity the debt due from us to France, will, of course, constitute one of the objects of my attention. Except with regard to a few laws of immediate urgency, respecting commercial imposts and navigation, the late session of Congress was wholly occupied in organizing the government. A resolution, however, passed the House of Representatives declarative of their opinion that an adequate provision for the support of the public credit was a matter of high importance to the honor and prosperity of the United States : and instructing me to prepare and report a plan for that purpose at their next session. In this state of things you will readily perceive that I can say nothing very precise with regard to the provision to be made for discharging the arrearages due to France. I am, however, desirous that it should be understood that proper attention will be paid to the subject on my part: and I take it for granted that the national legislature will not fail to sanction the measures which the faith and credit of the United States require in reference to it. In addition to this I shall only remark that it would be a valuable accommodation to the government of this country if the Court of France should think fit to suspend the payment of the instalments of the principal due and to become due, for five or six years from this period, on the condition of effectual arrangements for the punctual discharge of the interest which has accrued and shall accrue. But in giving this intimation it is not my intention that any request should be made to that effect. I should be g...