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site qualifications. This, with the growth of the country, must be every year more and more the case. It cannot, therefore, be conducted in detail by the head of the department, or by any existing officer of it, now charged with other duties, and without being less well executed than it ought to be, or interfering with other essential duties, or without a portion of both these inconveniences, to the material detriment of the public service. Experience has already verified the position.
It must then, of necessity, either be confided to a special agent, employed by the head of the department, or to a new officer of the department, to be constituted by law, and to act under the discretion and superintendence of that head. The last mode is preferable to the first, for obvious reasons.
Whenever an object of public business is likely to be permanent, it is more fit that it should be transacted by an officer of the government, regularly constituted, than by the agent of a department, specially intrusted.
The officer can be placed, by law, under more effectual checks. In the present case, that idea is particularly important. The person intrusted ought to be prohibited, under penalties, from all dealing, on his own account, in the objects of supply.
The duration and emoluments of mere agency being precarious, a well qualified man, disposed to make the necessary sacrifices of other pursuits, and to devote himself exclusively to the business, could with much greater difficulty, if at all
, be found. The compensation to such an officer ought, it is conceived, to weigh nothing as an objection. Independent of the equivalent expense, arising from the necessity of employing and compensating an agent, it is morally certain that the close, constant, undivided attention of a person, charged exclusively with this object, and in condition, for that reason, to make the minute as well as extensive inquiries and investigations which are often requisite, would produce savings to the United States with which the salary of the officer could bear no comparison. It is equally evident that it would contribute greatly to punctuality, dispatch, and efficiency, in procuring the supplies. All which is humbly submitted.
J. Q. ADAMS TO HAMILTON.
The Hague, Dec. 5th, 1794. SIR:
The bankers of the United States at Amsterdam have written to you upon the present state of affairs, in this country, which would in their opinion render the negotiation for eight hundred thousand dollars, for which they have been commissioned, altogether impracticable, even if they had received from Col. Humphreys the information for which they are instructed to wait.
Under these circumstances, therefore, I find myself deprived not only of the happiness of contributing to the success, but even of the satisfaction of making all the exertions in my power for the attainment of an object so near to the wishes of the President and so important to the interests of the United States. As the contingency upon which the loan was at any rate to be attempted has not happened, it would have been perfectly unnecessary to dispute the opinion of the commissioners. As the management of this business has been committed to them entirely, it would have been improper. As their means of information upon this point are so much superior to mine, it would have been indecorous. I have therefore only observed to them that the object to which the money was intended to be applied, was of extreme urgency and importance; and that I hoped they would take advantage of the first favorable moment that should offer to make their dispositions so as to be prepared for the receipt of the order from Lisbon.
The zeal and fidelity with which these gentlemen have served the United States from the time they were first interested in their affairs, has been so thoroughly tried and proved that it will certainly not be deficient on the present occasion. Their personal interest will also concur with their public duty to animate their activity if they see a possible chance of succeeding. So that when they tell me that the negotiation of the proposed loan would be impracticable, I cannot doubt but that the fact is really so, and that with the whole latitude of powers given them as to the terms, they will not venture to undertake it.
It is with much pleasure however that I learn from them, and from many other quarters, that in point of credit here, the United States stand upon a higher footing than any other power. That their obligations at 4 per cent. with premium are ten per cent. above par; and their 5 per cents. at par: while those of the Emperor and of Russia are vibrating rom 75 to 90, and some others bear no price at all.
By the capture of Antwerp, a difficulty has occurred upon which the gentlemen at Amsterdam have no doubt already written you. The annual interest upon the loan made there of three millions of florins, is by the tenor of the obligations made payable at the counting-house of Mr. De Wolff, and the bankers here have annually remitted the money to Antwerp for the purpose. As the circulation of assignats is compulsive, the Brabanters, holders of the American obligations, are apprehensive of receiving their interest in that currency, and our bankers have not transmitted the money for the interest that becomes due for the last year. It may be added, that many of these creditors are now emigrants, and may possibly have other apprehensions for the fate of the principal as well as of the interest. One of them called upon me at Amsterdam last week, to inquire whether I could give him any relief. I told him that I had neither instructions nor power relating to that loan, but would readily transmit any representation he wished to make, and I did not doubt but the United States would do their creditors full justice. He said an expedient had already been adopted by the court of Denmark upon the same occasion, which had been satisfactory to their creditors, in their Brabant loans, and which, if equally adopted by the United States, would very much accommodate him and many others in the same predicament. It was to declare that the holders of their obligations might receive their interest at Copenhagen instead of Antwerp, and that they might exchange the obligations themselves for others bearing the same interest.
The communication between Antwerp and this country is interrupted, and I do not know whether Mr. De Wolff has paid the interest due upon the loan this year. The money for the purpose has certainly not been remitted from hence. I hope before the revolution of another year some settled order of things will take place, which will render any measures on the part of the United States in favor of their Netherland creditors unnecessary. I suspect that the impossibility of obtaining the two million guilders here must arise altogether from the dread of confiscation or requisition to which they imagine their obligations
may be liable.
I have the honor to be, with the highest sentiments of respect, Sir, your very obedient, humble servant,
JOHN Q. ADAMS.
HAMILTON TO WASHINGTON.
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, Dec. 23, 1794. SIR:
The present state and prospects of the Treasury render it necessary, without delay, to exercise the power vested in the President by the act passed the 18th instant, entitled “An act authorizing a loan of two millions of dollars."
To enable him to determine this, a probable view of receipts and expenditures distributed quarter-yearly is herewith presented, and the form of a power as usual to the Secretary of the Treasury to make the loan is submitted.
With perfect respect, &c.
Draft by Hamilton.
UNITED STATES, January 1, 1795. By George Washington, President of the United States.
When we review the calamities which afflict so many other nations, and trouble the sources of individual quiet, security, and happiness, the present condition of the United States affords much matter of consolation and satisfaction.
Our exemption hitherto from the evils of foreign war, an increasing prospect of the continuance of that precious exemption, the great degree of internal tranquillity we have enjoyed, the recent confirmation of that tranquillity by the suppression of an insurrection which so wantonly threatened it; the happy course of our public affairs in general; the unexampled prosperity of all classes of our citizens; are circumstances which mark our situation with peculiar indications of the Divine beneficence towards us.
In such a state of things, it is in an especial manner our duty as a people, with devout reverence and affectionate gratitude, to acknowledge our many and great obligations to Almighty God, and to implore Him to continue and confirm the blessings we experience.
Deeply penetrated with this sentiment, I, George Washington, President of the United States, do recommend to all religious societies and denominations, and to all persons whomsoever in the United States, to set apart and observe Thursday, the 19th day of February next, as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, and on that day to meet together and render their sincere and hearty thanks to the great Ruler of nations, for the manifold and signal mercies which distinguish our lot as a nation, particularly for the constitutions of government which unite, and by their union establish liberty with order for the preservation of our peace, FOREIGN and DOMESTIC, for the seasonable check which has been given to a spirit of disorder, in the suppression