University of Virginia Library

Search this document 
The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;

expand sectionA. 
expand sectionB. 
expand sectionC. 
collapse sectionD. 
2029. DEBT (French), Transfer to Hol-land.—
expand sectionE. 
expand sectionF. 
expand sectionG. 
expand sectionH. 
expand sectionI. 
expand sectionJ. 
expand sectionK. 
expand sectionL. 
expand sectionM. 
expand sectionN. 
expand sectionO. 
expand sectionP. 
expand sectionQ. 
expand sectionR. 
expand sectionS. 
expand sectionT. 
expand sectionU. 
expand sectionV. 
expand sectionW. 
expand sectionX. 
expand sectionY. 
expand sectionZ. 

expand section 
expand section 

2029. DEBT (French), Transfer to Hol-land.—

It being known that M. de Calonne,
the Minister of Finance, is at his wit's ends to
raise supplies for the ensuing year, a proposition
has been made him by a Dutch company to pur-chase
the debt of the United States to this coun-try
[France] for seventy millions of livres in
hand. His necessities dispose him to accede to
the proposition, but a hesitation is produced by
the apprehension that it might lessen our credit
in Europe, and perhaps be disagreeable to Con-gress.
I have been consulted here only by the
agent for that company. I informed him that
I could not judge what effect it might have on
our credit, and was not authorized either to ap-prove
or disapprove of the transaction. I have
since reflected on this subject. If there be
a danger that our payments may not be punc-tual,
it might be better that the discontents
which would thence arise should be transferred
from a court, of whose goodwill we have so
much need, to the breasts of a private company.
But it has occurred to me, that we might find
occasion to do what would be grateful to this
court, and establish with them a confidence in
our honor. I am informed that our credit in
Holland is sound. Might it not be possible,
then, to borrow the four and twenty millions
due to this country and thus pay them their
whole debt at once? This would save them
from any loss on our account. Is it liable to
the objection of impropriety in creating new
debts before we have more certain means of
paying them? It is only transferring from one
creditor to another, and removing the causes of
discontent to persons with whom they would
do us less injury.—
To John Jay. Washington ed. ii, 28.
(P. Sep. 1786)