Front Page Titles (by Subject) to oliver wolcott - The Works of Alexander Hamilton, (Federal Edition), vol. 10
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
to oliver wolcott - Alexander Hamilton, The Works of Alexander Hamilton, (Federal Edition), vol. 10 
The Works of Alexander Hamilton, ed. Henry Cabot Lodge (Federal Edition) (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904). In 12 vols. Vol. 10.
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
to oliver wolcott
June 22, 1795.
I have received your letter of the 18th instant. I will reply to one or two points now, and to the rest hereafter.
With regard to the measure of receiving Dutch bonds here to be exchanged, as is usual, it has different sides. To do it may be, in some measure, necessary to effectuate the main object, as there may be many individuals who, from circumstances, might not think themselves safe in employing the mode which has been adopted, and which is no doubt proper. Yet it is easy to see it might be attended with hazard of imposition. But some thing may depend on the nature of the checks which the course of the business originally gives to our agents at Amsterdam. If similitude of handwriting is the only internal check, perhaps it may be possible to manage the matter here. A conversation with Cazenove may furnish you with the requisite data. Yet I feel great doubts of the safety of the operation, and, if adopted at all, it ought to be upon condition that no definitive or alienable evidences are to be given in exchange for the original bonds till after a period (to be named) long enough to receive at the treasury the result of the operation in Holland, and a particular and detailed statement of it; and that no interest be payable (in the meantime) without a guaranty for repayment. With these checks none but respectable men will come forward, and there may be little or no risk. Yet, as I intimated, even the expediency of this depends on the nature of the original checks, and it ought to be announced that the treasury reserves to itself entire discretion as to the admission or non-admission of the bonds presented here.
With regard to the contract proposed by Mr. Swan, I answer, that I doubt much the advisability of concluding any thing with him here, for being concluded, it must be relied upon as a primary resource with the auxiliary and contingent expedient of drawing in case of failure; and Mr. Swan is not of standing, or character, to justify the leaving the public credit to depend primarily upon his punctuality. If Mr. Swan is able to do what he offers, it must be on the basis of French government funds, or that of a powerful moneyed combination in Europe. If either, why cannot he be referred to our commissioners and minister, under letters from the treasury stating the offer, the desirableness that such a contract could be formed under adequate guards for its performance, and leaving it to them to judge of the adequateness of the guards which shall be proposed? It appears to me very material that they should be satisfied with the arrangement, and essential that there should be good security and known resources for the execution of it.
Else no loss on shipping commodities, or otherwise, for the short time it can last, will counterpoise the risk of disappointment and censure of reliance on an incompetent character.
I will barely observe on one point of the latter part of your letter, namely, the payment of interest under the direction of the commissioners of the sinking fund. I have not the act by me, and can only speak from memory; but I am persuaded it does not require it. I am sure it will be highly inexpedient to place any extra clogs on that operation, and I do not perceive why the manner of keeping the accounts may not obviate any embarrassment from a separate management of the two things. I will write again more particularly, on this as well as on other points. I am glad to know that there is a probability of a proper issue to the affair of the treaty.