[HAMILTON, ALEXANDER. 1755-1804.] Gazette of the United States. New York: John Fenno, January 20-February 26, 1790. Nos 81-92.
Lot 110
[HAMILTON, ALEXANDER. 1755-1804.]
Gazette of the United States. New York: John Fenno, January 20-February 26, 1790. Nos 81-92.
Sold for US$ 23,750 inc. premium

Lot Details
[HAMILTON, ALEXANDER. 1755-1804.]
Gazette of the United States. New York: John Fenno, January 20-February 26, 1790. Nos 81-92.
12 issues, continuous run. Bifolia (425 x 265 mm). A little expert repair to binding holes, even toning, some mild foxing (mostly to later issues), no 90 with tear from first leaf costing several letters, no 89 with a tear from blank corner and a repaired closed tear; overall excellent.
Provenance: William Wetmore (subscriber's name on first four issues).

THE FOUNDATION OF AMERICA'S FINANCIAL SYSTEM: DAY-BY-DAY PRINTING IN CONGRESS'S HOME-TOWN PAPER. Hamilton's complete report plus summary and debates appears serially over 10 of the present 12 issues. In it Hamilton sets forth his plan for strengthening the nation's public credit and significantly increasing the size of the national debt. Drawing on his reading of Enlightenment philosophers and economists, Hamilton makes an impassioned case for the importance of financial strength to domestic and international political well-being. "Had Hamilton stuck to dry financial matters his Report on the Public Credit would never have attained such historic renown. Instead, he presented a detailed blueprint of the government's fiscal machinery, wrapped in a broad political and economic vision" (Chernow Hamilton 297). Hamilton urges the federal assumption of USD 25 million of state debt to be paid off via raised taxes and import duties. His report was highly controversial, particularly so for his call to honor old Continental Congress notes, many of which had already been traded by Revolutionary War veterans to New York stock speculators. To many, including to James Madison, Hamilton's call smacked of insider trading and a betrayal of patriotic ideals. Worse yet, the assumption of state debts seemed to southerners, especially Virginians, to give too much power to the federal government. The animosity that developed over these issues between Hamilton and the Jeffersonians laid the ground-work for the two-party system in America. This plan of Hamilton's did not pass on the first attempt, but a compromise was reached, the so-called "dinner table compromise" of 1790 in which the fears of the Virginians were assuaged by a promise of Hamilton's to pressure the Pennsylvanians to let the nation's capital pass from Philadelphia to the Potomac. Hamilton accomplished this and about 2 weeks later his financial plan squeaked through. The pamphlet form of Hamilton's report was issued at the end of January, 1790.

Footnotes

  • ALEXANDER HAMILTON'S SEMINAL REPORT ON PUBLIC CREDIT
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