Hamilton: Finance: Payments of Public Debt



Alexander Hamilton was a Founding Father, soldier, economist, political philosopher, one of America’s first constitutional lawyers and the first United States Secretary of the Treasury.

Alexander Hamilton was a Founding Father, soldier, economist, political philosopher, one of America’s first constitutional lawyers and the first United States Secretary of the Treasury.

Alexander Hamilton: The Works of Alexander Hamilton, Volume 3


Finance: Payments of Public Debt


August 29, 1792.

The following authentic documents respecting the progress which has been made by the present Government of the United States, toward extinguishing the debts contracted under the former Government, will, it is presumed, be very acceptable to the people of the United States; and it is hoped that the different editors of newspapers will give the information the general circulation which its importance merits.

I

Treasury Department, Register’s Office,

August 24, 1792.

Sir:—I have the honor to enclose an abstract and statement of the debt incurred by the late Government, and which has been paid off from the funds of the present Government, amounting to one million eight hundred and forty-five thousand two hundred and seventeen dollars forty-two cents; but this sum will be increased, when the balance of three hundred and ninety-seven thousand twenty-four dollars thirteen cents, remaining to be appropriated to the further purchase of the public debt, shall be applied, and which more particularly appears by the subjoined statement.

With every sentiment of the highest respect, I have the honor to be, Sir,

Your most obedient and most humble servant,

Joseph Nourse,

Register.

Hon. Alexander Hamilton,

Secretary of the Treasury.

ii

Statement of the balance which remains to be applied to the further purchase of the Public Debt

By the Act passed 12th August, 1790, making provision for the reduction of the Public Debt, Section 2d, it is enacted, That all such surplus of the product of the duties arising from impost and tonnage to 31st December, 1790, after satisfying the several appropriations therein specified, shall be applied to the purchase of the public debt.

The product of said duties were . . $3,026,070 65⅛
The total appropriations were . . 1,687,194 81
The surplus fund to 31st December, 1790 $1,338,875 84⅛
Deduct the amount paid for $1,456,743 18 of the public debt extinguished as per abstract . . . . . 941,851 69
Leaves a balance which remains to be applied to the further purchases of the public debt . . . . . $397,024 15⅛

III

An abstract Statement of the sum extinguished of the Public Debt, also of the payment from the funds of the present Government of certain claims which were incurred by the late Government.

Purchases of the Public Debt

Amount thereof extinguished . . . $1,456,743 38
Warrants drawn by the Board of Treasury under the late Government, and which have been discharged in pursuance of the Act of Congress of 29th September, 1789 . . . . 157,789 94
Civil List: for various payments made upon accounts which originated under the late Government . . . 25,768 50
War Department, being for arrearages of pay due to sundry officers of the army, and for provisions furnished . . 7,308 40
Abraham Skinner, late Commissary General of Prisoners, for the Board of American Prisoners of War at Long Island; appropriated by Congress, per their Act passed 12th August, 1790 38,683 13
Representatives of Mr. de Decoudray, balance of pay . . . . . 2,977 24
Ditto Hon. John Laurens, his salary on an embassy to the French Court . . 6,017 31
Francis Dana, salary on an embassy to the Court of St. Petersburg . . 2,410 30
Benson, Smith, and Barker, their expenses attending the embarkation of the British troops at New York . . 1,000 00
His Most Christian Majesty, for military and ordnance stores supplied to American ships of war in the French West Indies . . . . . . $ 29,029 68
Oliver Pollock, for balance due him for supplies at New Orleans, with interest thereon, in conformity with the several Acts of Congress . . . 108,605 00
MM. Gardoqui & Son, balance due for supplies furnished in Spain . . . 502 86
$550,542 14
Bills of exchange, which had been drawn on Foreign Commissioners, not paid by them . . . . . . 4,185 50
Timothy Pickering, late Quartermaster-General, being on account of the appropriation of $40,000, passed July 1, 1790 . . . . . . . 2,077 89

Grants of Congress, viz.:

John McCord, per Act of Congress of 1st July, 1790 . . . . . 1,309 71
Jehoakim M. Tocksin, per Act of Congress of the 26th of March, 1790 . . 120 00
Baron de Glaubeck, per Act of 29th September, 1789 . . . . . 140 26
Seth Harding, per Act 11th August, 1790 . 200 00
Caleb Brewster, ditto, ditto . . . 348 57
$2,118 54
$1,845,217 42

Treasury Department, Register’s Office, August 23, 1792.

Joseph Nourse,

Register.

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