|Gentlemen||The Hague 3d: December 1795.|
In reply to your Letter of yesterday, requesting me to make you speedy “provision or remittances to face the ƒ 270,000 Interest due at Amsterdam the first of January next by the United States,” I have to acquaint you, that I am possessed of no funds whatever to answer such a call, nor is there a probability that I shall be, as the accustomed mode adopted by the United States, to be prepared for payments falling due upon their Loans at Amsterdam, has been by direct remittances to you. From this rule there has been no departure in the instance of the last remittance of ƒ 300.000. payable by a solid & substantial House in Paris, as appears by the Bill drawn upon them being duly discharged, and the proceeds thereof according to your information, now in the hands of Mr: Monroe, where they only wait permission from the French Government to be forwarded to you.
I am well convinced of the importance to the United States, that all their pecuniary engagements, whether in Holland or elsewhere, should meet an observance: equally sacred; and while they possess the ability to fulfill all, I am as strongly persuaded, that it will never be made a question by them, which of the claims of justice having equal pretensions to punctuality, will best bear a temporary suspension.
Previous to your consent to answer the drafts of Mr: DeWolf, for the amount of the Antwerp interest, when my Brother assured you, that in case of your refusal, he had in his power other means to provide for it, it cannot have escaped your observation, that he considered himself authorized to use these means, only in the utmost extremity, & after being fully assured, that the ordinary sources, of providing for that interest, would fail. Nor can I Gentlemen, feel myself at Liberty to give you other means of providing for the approaching January payment of ƒ 270.000. until it can no longer be questionable, whether the provision already made & in the hands of Mr: Monroe will prove ineffectual.
The Exchange upon Paris is doubtless at this moment unfavorable, or that method would have been adopted to ensure seasonable payment here. But if the remittance in Specie cannot be effected, it may deserve consideration, whether the loss to the United States, if it must be incurred will be greater by an unfavorable Exchange, or by any new imposition of burdens, resulting from any other method, that may be adopted to procure the sum, for which you have called upon me.
If Credit be a delicate thing, it will not bear to be sported with want only; & the pecuniary burdens of the United States are already sufficiently numerous to suggest the utmost caution & reserve, in the contraction of any additional engagements of that sort.
To contribute all in my power to the seasonable remittance of the money now in the possession of Mr: Monroe, I shall write to that Gentleman, earnestly requesting every exertion on his part, to obtain permission from the French Government to this end.
I have the honor to be &ca:
LbC (CtHi: Wolcott Papers), enclosure in TBA to Oliver Wolcott, 6 Jan. 1796); internal address: “T. B. Adams to Messrs: Willink van Staphorst & Hubbard.”