Paris, October 18, 1785.
Your favor of the 29th of September came safely to hand: the constant expectation of the departure of the persons whom I formerly gave you reason to expect, has prevented my writing, as it has done yours. They will probably leave this in a week, but their route will be circuitous and attended with delays. Between the middle and last of November, they may be with you. By them, you will receive a cipher, by which you may communicate with Mr. Adams and myself. I should have sent it by Baron Dreyer, the Danish minister; but I then expected our own conveyance would have been quicker. Having mentioned this gentleman, give me leave to recommend him to your acquaintance. He is plain, sensible, and open: he speaks English well, and had he been to remain here, I should have cultivated his acquaintance much. Be so good as to present me very respectfully to him.
This being to go by post, I shall only add the few articles of general American news, by the last packet. Dr. Franklin arrived in good health at Philadelphia, the 15th ult., and was received amidst the acclamations of an immense crowd. No late event has produced greater demonstrations of joy. It is doubted whether Congress will adjourn this summer; but they are so thin, they do not undertake important business. Our western posts are in statu quo.
I have the honor to be, with great esteem, Dear Sir,
your friend and servant,
LETTER CXXX.—TO MESSRS. VAN STAPHORSTS, October 25,1785
TO MESSRS. VAN STAPHORSTS.
Paris, October 25,1785.
I received yesterday your favor of the 20th instant. In order to give you the information you desire, on the subject of the liquidated debts of the United States, and the comparative footing on which they stand, I must observe to you, that the first and great division of our federal debt, is, into 1. foreign; and 2. domestic. The foreign debt comprehends, 1. the loan from the government of Spain; 2. the loans from the government of France, and from the Farmers General; 3. the loans negotiated in Holland, by order of Congress. This branch of our debt stands absolutely singular: no man in the United States having ever supposed that Congress, or their legislatures, can, in any wise, modify or alter it. They justly view the United States as the one party, and the lenders as the other, and that the consent of both would be requisite, were any modification to be proposed. But with respect to the domestic debt, they consider Congress as representing both the borrowers and lenders, and that the modifications which have taken place in this, have been necessary to do justice between the two parties, and that they flowed properly from Congress as their mutual umpire. The domestic debt comprehends 1. the army debt; 2.