Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO C. W. F. DUMAS - The Works, vol. 6 (Correspondence 1789-1792)
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
TO C. W. F. DUMAS - Thomas Jefferson, The Works, vol. 6 (Correspondence 1789-1792) 
The Works of Thomas Jefferson, Federal Edition (New York and London, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904-5). Vol. 6.
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 C. W. F. DUMAS
New York, June 23, 1790.
—I arrived at this place the latter end of March, and undertook the office to which the President had been pleased to appoint me, of Secretary of State, which comprehends that of Foreign Affairs. Before I had got through the most pressing matters which had been accumulating, a long illness came upon me, and put it out of my power for many weeks to acknowledge the receipt of your letters. * * *
We are much pleased to learn the credit of our paper at Amsterdam. We consider it as of the first importance, to possess the first credit there, and to use it little. Our distance from the wars of Europe, and our disposition to take no part in them, will, we hope, enable us to keep clear of the debts which they occasion to other powers. It will be well for yourself and our bankers to keep in mind always, that a great distinction is made here, between our foreign and domestic paper. As to the foreign, Congress is considered as the representative of one party only, and I think I can say with truth, that there is not one single individual in the United States, either in or out of office, who supposes they can ever do anything which might impair their foreign contracts. But with respect to domestic paper, it is thought that Congress, being the representative of both parties, may shape their contracts so as to render them practicable, only seeing that substantial justice be done. This distinction will explain to you their proceedings on the subject of their debts. The funding their foreign debts, according to express contract, passed without a debate and without a dissenting voice. The modelling and funding the domestic debt, occasions great debates, and great difficulty. The bill of ways and means was lately thrown out, because an excise was interwoven into its texture; and another ordered to be brought in, which will be clear of that. The assumption of the debts contracted by the States to individuals, for services rendered the Union, is a measure which divides Congress greatly. Some think that the States could much more conveniently levy taxes themselves to pay off these, and thus save Congress from the odium of imposing too heavy burthens in their name. This appears to have been the sentiment of the majority hitherto. But it is possible that modifications may be proposed, which may bring the measure yet into an acceptable form. We shall receive with gratitude the copy of Rymer’s Federa, which you are so good as to propose for the use of our offices here.