Front Page Titles (by Subject) hamilton to jefferson (Cabinet Paper.) - The Works of Alexander Hamilton, (Federal Edition), vol. 4
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hamilton to jefferson (Cabinet Paper.) - Alexander Hamilton, The Works of Alexander Hamilton, (Federal Edition), vol. 4 
The Works of Alexander Hamilton, ed. Henry Cabot Lodge (Federal Edition) (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904). In 12 vols. Vol. 4.
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hamilton to jefferson
|Amount in the whole||3,000,000||livres.|
The Farmers General of France claim a large balance from the United States, on account of one million of livres, which they contend was advanced in June, 1777, in consequence of a special contract with Messrs. Franklin and Deane, to be repaid by the delivery of tobacco at certain stipulated prices, and the advance made by the Farmers General is said to be the same money as is credited by Mr. Grand on the 4th of June, 1777.
After a careful examination of the foreign accounts, it is found that no more than three millions of livres have been credited by any agent of the United States.
An opinion was entertained by the late officers of the Treasury, that the sum claimed by the Farmers General composed a part of the sum supplied as gratuitous aid by the government. Subsequent explanations have, however, rendered it probable that, including the claim of the Farmers General, the sum of four millions of livres was in fact received; it is, however, indispensable that it should be known to whom the money was paid.
The most direct mode of obtaining this information will be, to call for copies of the receipts mentioned in Mr. Durival’s letter of 1786, and more particularly a copy of that said to have been given on the 10th of June, 1776.
And as explanatory of the transaction, he has sent me the documents herewith transmitted.
The most likely conjecture, in my mind, considering the period of the advance, and the circumstances of that period, is, that the unaccounted for million went into the hands of M. de Beaumarchais. The supplies which he furnished to the United States exceeded his own probable resources, besides the imprudence of having hazarded so much at that stage of our affairs upon our ability to pay. And there were many symptoms, at the time, of his having been secretly put in motion by the government.
It has now become urgent that the truth of the case should be known. An account has recently passed the auditor’s office, admitting in favor of M. de Beaumarchais a balance of four hundred and twenty-two thousand two hundred and sixty-five dollars and thirteen cents, with a reservation only of the question of the million. If he has received that million which has been acknowledged as a free gift from the French government, it is unjust that he should be able to establish a claim against the United States for supplies which must have been the proceeds of that sum. If he has never received the million, every day’s suspension of is claim, after the immense delays heretofore incurred, is a grievous hardship upon him. It concerns materially the interests, and more the justice, the credit, and the character of the United States, that as speedy a solution as possible of the enigma may be obtained.
With a view to this, I have the honor to make you the present communication, that you may be pleased to take such steps as shall appear to you the most proper and efficacious to procure, as speedily as the nature of the case will admit, the requisite explanations.