Funding a Nation: Washington, Jefferson and Hamilton


Following program was a production of the Fairfax Network Fairfax County public schools funded in part by the Virginia Satellite know this program was made possible through Generous support from the Donald w reynolds foundation to George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate and Gardens Funding a nation is a co-production of the Fairfax network and George Washington’s Mount vernon estate and gardens my friends it is Mrs., Washington’s and my honor to welcome you we extend our warm and sincere Virginia hospitality to each and every one of you. I think it is appropriate With your grace and understanding for each of us to convey perhaps in our own words a bit about our own backgrounds you are all Educators is that what I understand yeah? the ladies as well My goodness gracious things have changed have they not indeed quite the improvement perhaps remarkable I’m heartened to hear that I wanted to begin by telling you something that you may find a little bit unusual coming from my lips And that is that when I was a young fellow. I was a very very happy very very loyal British subject we had all the rights all the privileges and all the Franchises of Englishmen over here in British America at least the ones that were important to us and most important of all Our lordly masters over in great britain pretty much left us alone for nigh on 150 Years I Tell you this and it is important for your understanding of your history and for the conveyance of this information to your students because that Means that we governed ourselves for a hundred and fifty years we raised our own funds when necessary We are educated our own cases in our own courtrooms of course all of that was going to change Prior to the change of course I am born in Virginia I am a boy raised on a farm And I think it’s very important everything that anyone needs to learn about life Can be learnt by being raised on a farm in my opinion? while you may see me as a statesman or a soldier I see myself first and foremost as a Farmer and I want to tell you I become a surveyor for a while But at the age of 1 and 20 I take up a sword for King and for country It is at the same time that I purchased my commission young major Washington believe me if I had more money I would have purchased a higher commission this is the way it was done in Europe and in Great britain IIi changed that in America, but if truth be told I became an officer at a very interesting time because Sabres were rattling once again between great britain and her hereditary enemy of france and There was a situation that was arising in British America that focused on the Ohio country the future of the continent I As a young man volunteered and was traveling during the wintertime up to the Erie Lake very close to the Erie Lake Fort Lebeouf to hand an eviction notice to the French of course the French representative that I handed this eviction notice to he he Responded accordingly in the french language. He said basically oh contraire it is you british that must leave French land you need to understand this disputed land was held by three Great nations the French they claimed it based on Exploration lasalle 100 150 years earlier left markers everywhere the Indian nations they claimed it based on residency and of course great britain claimed it based on Royal proclamation, so It went down the hill after that mission We ended up in a very significant shooting war this was a war of empire Fought as far away as the philippines in India in Africa Europe and of course extensively in North America as well, I tell you all this because it is at this time in my life that I become aware of how our lordly masters over in great Britain think about us here in British America as an officer a colonel that’s one step away from general as commander of all the forces of Virginia my orders could be overturned by a British captain or a lieutenant and My soldiers were not paid the same amount of money for the exact same work as British regular soldiers would pay This became a big problem. I understood the arrogance that our lordly masters in Great Britain had towards British American colonials ultimately we are successful in pushing the French out of virtually all of North America and Then for a variety of reasons I resigned my commission as commander of the Virginia Forces I have shared with you some of those concerns and problems I had my friends will tell you I resigned for a very different reason a lady and perhaps. They were correct I I was engaged to the widow of colonel Daniel, Custis and the year of our lord, Seventeen and fifty-nine Mrs. Martha Dandridge Custis became Mrs., Washington What a night that was story for another day? I will tell you mrs., Washington, and I enjoy sixteen uninterrupted years of great pleasure here at Mount Vernon But things were changing dramatically you see five six years after we were wed 1764 the King of England opens up his counting house, and it is nigh on empty He has almost of a fit of apoPlexy great Britain is almost bankrupt, and he turns to his ministers And he says do something about this and his ministers say to the king your majesty We just finished fighting a very expensive war against the French most of the cost was incurred in British America Let us turn to the American Colonials, and we will refill your treasury I Tell you this because it is important to you and your students that you are clear about the fact that the french and Indian war As we called it here in British America was a direct causation of the war of American Independence for the next 11 years the crown embarks upon a systematic tyrannical application of Despotism and they strip us of our freedoms our liberties. They you sir Whatever freedoms we had and they reach into our pockets in ways they had never done before we come together as a result of insult after insult over an 11-year period finally in Philadelphia and We agree for one thing on non importation of Goods we’ve we hit the British where it hurts this results in a variety of Reversals by the Crown and so Forth and so on but by and large our problems. Do not go away It’s critical to your understanding of your history that you’re clear about the fact that when we came together in Philadelphia city for that Philadelphia Congress or general congress we did not call it the first continental congress We didn’t know there would be a second one I can’t see the future, but when we came together we were citizens of complete separate countries Absolute Foreigners to each other my country was, Virginia We agree however after that first congress where we came together as americans for the very first time to Come back together one year later It does not take a year six months later as a result of the events of april 19 1775. We are back in session You know what happened on April 19 1775 Madam There was the British march on the towns of Lexington and Concord they’re going to arrest patriots confiscate weapons and black powder They are met by armed American resistance the war is on we come together as a congress once again We have a very full agenda. We agree to raise up arms against our king something that no No colony in the history of humankind had ever done successfully We’re going to do it against the most powerful fighting force in the entire world British Army in the British Navy Second order of business we send a petition to the King the king gives us his response four months or so later and The response is very clear you are in Rebellion, and he lets us know that he will stop at nothing to bring the rebels to justice and the third order of business in that session Was to appoint a gentleman commander-in-chief of the continental army of the United colonies of America? We would not declare independency for 13 more months My name was nominated by Mr. John Adams of Massachusetts Bay Colony had only met the man six months earlier He argues that the wars being fought in the North southerners will be hesitant about getting involved in a shooting war in the north But the appointment of a southerner particularly one from Virginia the most powerful and wealthiest colony To lead the army in the North will bring us all together in this course I Was appointed I? Told the congress that I thought it would be the ruination of my reputation that I? Did not have the experience or military knowledge to succeed But I told them that I would serve our glorious cause for no pay and for no profit It then took me two days to write the news to Mrs., Washington. I Sent her a letter and closed a copy of my will. She was not happy to receive that and a promise This was in june of 1775. I promised I’d be home on Christmas Eve Christmas Eve I did not tell her which one I Literally walked across the threshold of our home at mount vernon on Christmas eve eight and a half years later Without taking a single day’s furlough during the top entire war of independence. You know how this war turns out We the people raise up these united States of America to make a better life for most not all? Most of the inhabitants of the land and then we have to ask ourselves What kind of country we should be and make no mistake about that there were a wide range of options and opinions including those? Ill-conceived who wanted to make me what? King King George the first of America, and I pushed that back in the strongest of rebus, but I understood the thinking One last point that is critical to your understanding At the time that we declare our American independence II and again at the time that we sign our constitution We are the only nation on Earth the only Country in the world that is not under the control of kings and Queens and lords and ladies and shrieks and vices and Potentates and Khalif’s and Maharaja’s and Mikado’s and emperors even a Czarina We alone Raise up a nation of laws That empowers, so I have been told ultimately all of its citizens We can continue as a good and great nation a beacon light unto other nations and We can overcome absolutely anything that we face As long as we come together in Union If we allow factions and divisions to tear us apart Well that does not bode well for the future I Want to thank you for your attention. I remain your humble and your obedient servant Mr.. Jefferson I thank you general quite the the honor collective Responsibility to follow you in your your exhibition in your recounting if you will your reflections recollections in kind Him Much of which I hold as well deep in my affections and in my memory And delighted to have the opportunity to venture here to to your bluffs over the mighty potomac This of course the second time I recall but a short time ago I was here to encourage you to stand for the office of the presidency despite of course the differences of opinion within your cabinet that I Felt our nation should go on that the north and the south. I want to hang upon That second administration that you would provide us and remain united Pluribus unum as the Romans would say when I reflect as well of my upbringing my my opportunity to be born helped West there in the forest primeval To reflect regardless of the station that I have acquired in our Nation’s new government let alone across the globe I still refer to myself as a savage of the wilderness to reflect that when I had the opportunity to to attend to a formal education they Had a latin school and later at Morris classical Academy To acquaint myself with the wisdom of the ancient world and to realize indeed even in my youth that the prophets of the future will Be found in the wisdom of our past to have the opportunity to Improve my education at the old Royal college of women married and williamsburg where we first met Your excellency though of course you were well acquainted with my father colonel Peter Jefferson in kind of surveyor And a colonel of Militia They had these opportunities placed me better in mind of what was beginning to reveal itself long before our revolution began and that Is that we might not ever forget we were indeed Governed by one Royal family generation after generation? We were governed by their particular parliament. Which is hereditary half of it you cannot be a member the house appears unless you are the eldest son of a member of the house peers indeed an element of Great Privilege unto whom but a few and lest we forget that we were governed by their particular church a church that had Had been able to evolve from a contest and conflict with another church That they had accused had become quite proper did wealthy and politically allied Yet overthrowing the prince of rome the Church of England establishing itself in kind and Yet to realize though governed by the British monarch a 3,000 miles removed we were beginning to realize something here and her colonies and That I asked you was it only the englishmen seeking an asylum here in North America No of course not who else was venturing here the scots yes They would never want to consider themselves English would there? Nor the Irish the Dutch the industrious dutch settling a lot up the Hudson river providing great prosperity in the part of New York Many others The Germans from the many kingdoms of the German is proven to be almost successful farmers in fact as we meet here this day the predominant population in the new Commonwealth of Pennsylvania remains German His excellency of Khalsa Reminded us of the Mortal enemy of England the French Arriving here well before the English claiming a great deal of this continent as their own and yet I inquire of you Even well before the french who had arrived here Spaniards you know the british was so proud of their first permanent settlement they on Jamestown Island you recall the year 16.7 do you know 50 years before that the spaniards built a fort on the york River? we know as well some from the kingdoms of the italy’s but a few from the kingdoms of the orient perhaps even fewer from the kingdoms of the Rushes The Hebrews Seeking a new promise and and I asked you as well who would ever dare or be so bold to Deny the African We know well the majority were brought here against their will And yet who would be so bold to deny the fact they were settled here from the earliest days were they not Well before Greater majority has arrived and Therefore lest we forget being governed by the British monarchy 3,000 miles removed we were beginning to realize indeed We are becoming the less and less British and the more and more self-evident is it not a new Breed our new people the likes of which the world has never seen before and through many different tongues becoming one kindred cone particularly in a remarkable confab if you will a confabulation a conversation among so many different peoples in recognition of What we are beginning to realize are our inherent rights And yet being told settled here in these colonies The right to hold an opinion freely and to freely express your opinion is a british, right? The right to have a newspaper Printing opinions is a british right the right to trial by jury a british, right? Well when it goes on but the more people began to speak amongst themselves the more thing began to question how could that be solely British right I Have that right innate in nature That nation from which I have come was to engage many of those rights freely And altogether we began to realize that These are the rights that are given to mankind not by any government and not been a ruler? these are the rights given to the family man across this globe by nature and nature’s God a General is correct to reflect that indeed We were settled freely here perhaps more freely than man had ever been in his entire history Particularly the farther west you were seated on the frontier that we had come to taste the sweetness of Liberty nobody was looking over our shoulders in the conduct of our life and the greatest Element was the opportunity in Nature to freely move cells wherever we should choose and thereby seek to better our condition and Inherent right in Nature indeed the recognition that no we are not all created equal in face and form now are we Are we all created equal in mind? But I ask you this Are we all created equal? in opportunity in Nature Is not that God who gave us life? One who has given us all Liberty as well is not Nature born free and Who would ever be so bold to deny that inherent right unto another each and every soul? Once seeing these inalienable rights imposed upon Yes As the general has so well related we rose up as I have written in a frenzy of retaliation to what occurred in Concord and Lexington and lest we forget two weeks later here in Virginia in Williamsburg And John Murray the earl of dunmore attempted to deprive the citizenry there of their munitions and arms in the arsenal We rose up and thereby reclaiming those reins of self-government being familiar where we had been we were once more capable to lead ourselves forward and through the victory of our American revolution to establish what has become known as novus ordo seclorum a New World order the first nation in the history of Mankind founded upon principle not upon monarchy or upon aristocracy Principles that had been argued and debated from time immemorial as to whether man is indeed capable of governing himself Oh some believe that he may not be oh and they have found one another had they not they bound closely together and their particular cover is a Privilege and they have now begun to assume that our government has been formed its laws as well to protect whom them from whom their fellow citizen now I Ask you this in the midst of that controversy and that conundrum where would Batman be more free upon this globe to hold that opinion? Then he is here a citizen of our new nation and at the same time to be opposed By his fellow man who has as well that equaled? Liberty and freedom to hold his opinion freedom to freely express it and yet who does believe in the principle of? Self-government who does seek to collaborate with his fellow man in order to improve the condition of mankind and truly? Despite these differences of opinion is it not unique that we have founded a nation the government of which If it goes too far in One direction calls upon whom to come to the helm the people it should be And if the government goes too far in another direction to call upon whom to come to the helm to study it The people as well that essential Principle that the government is the servant not the master That it governs through the rights of the people through the people themselves freely given and freely renewed These principles as well we find vested in our declaration of American independence And I have frequently said therein is not one new or original thought in fact as the general knows I had frequently expressed to him that I never came up with one new or original thought everything in our Declaration has already been written it has already been argued it has already been debated and you may find it in the elementary books of public right the works of Aristotle Cicero Allison and Sydney John Locke and What I attempted to do what the committee attempted in reviewing my work what they what the delegates in the continental congress attempted to review of the committee’s work was simply to shed the lofty sufism and Explained it all in clear and simple terms so that each and every soul might understand and comprehend it not a privileged view Who had the opportunity simply because their family had the means to attend to an education? But that the great versity of our population which I’ve always said is our greatest strength might come to understand the common sense of the matter that matter Our American revolution to show the rest of the world that our American revolution was fought on behalf of the common man to provide the greatest good to the greatest number and Particular to reveal that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs nor a few booted and spurred Ready to Ride him That is the message of our declaration and happily though, I was not there to see it secured the more so In our constitution now grant you. I I know colonel and your excellency that you recall when I was not so much in favor of An effort to strengthen our articles of confederation I did believe they were of a venerable fabric they should not be tampered with but I also realized that there was no efficient method of Taxation and in all then there was an efficient method of electing the Chief magistrate of our nation and so there while in France Continuing and communications with my friend Mr.. Madison. I learned of the business the progress of our Constitutional convention it when finally I received that first draft of the constitution in a letter written by Mr.. Madison That was november 17 and eighty-seven I’d wrote back to him rest. You were short I am captivated by this document captivated the shortest document of its kind in human history Creating the government to check its own power Recognizing the greater influence within the three branches is what? the Legislative Branch that branch elected directly by whom The people and yet, I said this document does fall short Because it could be read by any government in power to its own particular means and ends it needs something most essential That which all people are entitled to upon this earth against any government on this earth what this? constitution needs is I’m delighted you become familiar with it a bill of rights Which continues to allow the government in the hands of the people? Citizens this much we know if men were angels governments would not be necessary but of course we we had the question do we not and That is did we find angels in the forms of kings to govern us No, this is now in our hands this is in our laps and let history answer the question We have formed a government upon principle The principle of any government in my opinion is tripartite firstly the general safety secondly the general defense and thirdly a general system of Taxation to support the general safety and the general defense the only purpose of government is simply to protect its citizenry from injury by one another But otherwise to leave them free that they might pursue their own industry and their own improvement I’m cautious That if we allow our government to decide that it could very well in itself become a business unto itself Then what will happen citizens? We know what will happen further taxes in order to support it I? Am not one who disagrees in the Elements of Compromise and Resolution as the general has cited we succeeded in showing the rest of the world that we can bring 13 individual nations together But not only for our common safety and not only for our common defense, but lest we forget Particularly as Americans for the common Good Thank you Colonel thank you, your excellency Jefferson In the general course of human nature the power over a man’s subsistence Amounts to nothing more or less than the power over his will thus it is that the position of a secretary of Treasury is One Fraught with responsibilities for whoever controls the purse strings other nation to a certain extent controls that nation now During the late perturbations of our so called sister Republic of France I’ve had occasion to have Charles de perigord De talleyrand staying with myself and my family and he finds it the most extraordinary thing that I as secretary of the treasury Do not do as most European ministers of finance Take a bit for myself Apparently it is quite the accustomed thing to do there so much so that the salary of a minister of finance is quite Negligible for it’s quite presumed that they will be taking a bit for themselves now that of course is absolutely reprehensible And we will not have that here But I have been accused of malfeasance in my office on numerous occasions. I have been even brought before a committee of Investigation of the house of representatives who if it was not paneled with those whom had an outright dislike for me? It was paneled by those who were my outright enemies and I have been exonerated each and every several time that one cannot aspire to political office though without Accruing enemies mine have been most vocal and then they’re in their denunciations my detractors seem to think that they can advance a justness to their case and win convert to their cause by the loudness of their declamations and the bitterness of their invectives I will use reason John Adams in his time as Has been want to say that I am a great hypocrite and an insolent Cockscomb That’s right. I said Cockscomb Although John Adams was once referred to as a monkey just put into breeches, so I think I fell rather better in comparison Now when the committee was drafting the declaration of independence back in 1776 I along with exec 20 general Washington was fighting in New York New York is Ma not my native city it is a I do not know if you know this But I am not native to these shores. I was born in the British West indies I’m not certain if you are familiar But in the British West indies the population is chiefly about 80% slave and about 20% white there therefore there are always great fears of slave insurrections therefore it is necessary for every lad of 13 years or older to go to the local fort and learn to March and drill with the soldiery Thus it was I had some experience when the war came to us at in, New York and I was a student there studying at the King’s college or Columbia, I think in your day the war came to us now I don’t know if you know how the battles worked in and around, New York you know But they worked out brilliantly if you were in the British army in the continental army not too well at all we were forced to retreat the length of York Island or Manhattan Island, I think in your day and retreat into new Jersey now retreating is a dismal business at best But there is no more dismal place to retreat through than New Jersey I See we had to retreat the length of New Jersey crossing the Delaware into Pennsylvania now. What happens on December 25th? Anyone Someone said Christmas Christmas happens every year. You godless heathen I? Should be more specific. What happens on December 25th 1776? That’s right weary crossed the Delaware surprising Colonel Rall and his hessians at Trenton I tell you my favorite view of Trenton is down the barrel of a cannon Now a few days later general Lord Cornwallis taught to Entrap us in Trenton in General, Washington was able to slip away We were able to counter March and we took them at Princeton instead. I Don’t suppose any of you would know this but before the war I had applied to the college of New Jersey at Princeton and been denied Well, there’s the 40th and 55th regiments have put bail back on Nassau Hall. I got into the college of New Jersey at Princeton with Cannon Though I suppose if some of you were to seek higher University learning you perhaps ought to use pen and paper Cannon only worked for myself, and then they closed the school shortly thereafter Now in the aftermath of the battles of Trenton and Princeton his excellency, General, Washington Did me the honor of asking me to become one of his aide-de-Camp? an Aide-de-Camp is a Sort of military secretary if you will do the duties of an aide-de-Camp are many and varied they include the interrogation of prisoners the interrogation of spies very infrequently acting in the generals name But more often than not it is the day-To-day Administration of the Army for every order that is given must be written and and who do you suppose did all that writing? We did the Aides-de-camp writing for the general day-in-day-out and became quite tedious And I’d begun the war with the field commission And I am in so many ways an old soldier and were we to have a standing army as is completely appropriate Then I think that I should be a part of that army instead. I find myself in government Now I’m very often asked why I feel the way I do why I feel we need such a strong federal government If I may I would like to take you back to the war very briefly now When you start a war when I was an ad count to general Washington it was part of my job to help him Feed and clothe the army now when you start a war and the precept of that war is you do not want to pay taxes? How do you feed and clothe that army? Well, you don’t now of course it is a gross misrepresentation for me to say we didn’t want to pay taxes no taxation without representation as James Otis would have it odd little man that he is but what it meant in effect was that people weren’t paying their taxes taxes in those days were all paid by the Well, they were collected by the individual states and then passed on to the federal government. I suppose you know how that worked The states would collect the taxes they would use what they needed and there before passing it on to the federal government they did look about so you know there’s a bridge that needs mending over here and the streets need recovering or the port or a Mess by the time the States had done with it. There was rarely anything left to pass on to the federal government? The system of government we had at the time. You know what it was. Yes, during the war. We had a government under the articles Confederation. Oh, what’s that? What were some of its difficulties it was just a legislature a Legislature there was no executive there was no judicial a legislature that did not even have the power to collect its own taxes This led to as your own James Madison would say the anarchy of our system now. I Remember on the retreat through New Jersey it was my custom at that time to walk Alongside the Canon and I would pat the canon as I would walk along absorbed in pot, and I couldn’t help but notice the tracks in Front of me the wagon Wheels the Hoof prints of the horses and The footprints of the Men very often shod, but very often like as not Unshod, you know cold goes through leather like that And when leather becomes completely saturated a permeated due to inclement conditions It becomes very dry and Brittle upon drying unless. It’s treated immediately and it begins to crack and Fall away, and the men would try to tie the shoes on their feet with rags and scraps but ultimately they would fall away, and we would be looking at bare footprints in the snow and the muck and the mire and then of course because Skin itself is nothing more than leather that too would begin to crack and Open up And we would be looking at bloody footprints in the snow and the muck and the mire we sought all throughout the ward yes General We saw it at Valley Forge. We saw it in the retreat through New Jersey. We saw it at Morristown I began to ask myself. Why have we come to such desperate straits Why can we not find proper sustenance for our troops men give me some credit for genius all the genius? I have lies in this when I have a subject in hand my mind becomes pervaded by it day and night It is before me I plumb the problem to it’s very depths Then the results of my reflections Some men are pleased to call the fruit of genius it is not It is the fruit of labor and thought and when I plumb this problem to its depths What was the result it was the form of government we had at the time the articles of confederation a loose form of government? They did not even have the power to collect are its own taxes Thus it is that we need the strong federal government that we have we need the government that we set up under the Constitution and though, I will own you know I’m very often after my opinion of the constitution, and I will tell you I I never expect to see perfect work from imperfect man And though I think there was not a man of us who was satisfied with the document when we left Philadelphia that day We all knew we had something we could work with Now the document begins. I think you know as a secretary Jefferson was a in toning on on the people and the rights of the people and make no mistake I Believe that the people have a right to rule here the people rule But they do it through their elected representatives in the house of representatives as is of course the way ought to be now It has frequently been remarked and it seems to be reserved that it seems to be reserved to the people of this country by the conduct and example to decide the important question whether societies of men are capable or not of establishing good government from Shall we be no more fit for the For the whip for the spur, or can we indeed govern ourselves? we have that capability, but we must do it together as Thirteen States of one nation I think perhaps you were all familiar with the beginning of the constitution which begins We the people of the united strapped of the constitution which read we the people of the states of Connecticut New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Delaware, Etc ETc several sending a very different message to the world and we the people of the United States It is as a dr.. Franklin has been want to say though. He wasn’t speaking of this at the time I think it holds true here as well. We must all hang together or we will assuredly most all hang separately Thank you for your kind attention well at the risk of boring these people further and With some trepidation to be strictly honest with you. I i do have a question to put on the table and that is Where are the two of you in your joint and several opinions? with regard to our debt Shall you begin or shall I I? Should like to have a first statement if you would allow colonel The debt of our nation is something that we attended to from the very beginning in in the engaging of our American revolution it is something that we had to attend to that has we’re known well throughout the history of man to be a Necessity of war the raising of funds for the conducting of that war the engaging of loans for the for the payment of that war the Issuing of scrip that can be given as promised errors for those soldiers who might not otherwise See an end in sight for their benefit and to make certain that once these soldiers become our nation’s revered veterans that they might return to their homes and see their cash boxes to be re refilled if you will with the monies as a result of their hard-earned labor’s not to be depleted of those monies nor to have lost those notes unto stock Chavez and speculators who assume it to be their duty to pursue the future of these soldiers let alone the future of our nation’s nation in their particular hands for whose benefit their particular benefit This your excellency I considered to be the curse if you will of the accrual of of credit and a deficit of monies within our new nation now Realizing it had to be a suede’s realizing that there must be some method by which may may retain repay this debt Yes I was very anxious to receive the report on manufacturers very anxious to receive the idea of assumption of the Debts of this nation in the form of a bill that colonel Hamilton put forth and Coincidentally at the same time that our nation was considering the placement Above Federal City Terrace is a not that our nation’s government federal government at that time was seated in New York A center of counting houses a center of merchants and Financiers Men of Commerce and Mercantilism Those who might forget if you will though they live in one of our nation’s seven large cities Beyond 20,000 in population that nine out of every Ten Americans Lives well on a farm again those who might forget and Curious indeed as your excellency called us unto your your house there that the the bowling-green the President’s has to present our concerns my concern being simply that the assumption Bill might engage our nation into further debt for Generations yet unborn and that it was my concern that we situate our federal city in the land of farmers not within that of the the The counting houses of financiers you recall your excellency that as we peered before you the two of us You could not readily make a decision with what we had to pronounce verbally but requested us to write down Squarely our concerns. Which is your usUal want that we enumerate our concerns, and then place that before you that you might take the time to decide as we Accomplish that and several days passed you returned the answer that you were in a great state of uncertainty could not decide and Therefore you left the matter unto the two of us To decide for the future of our nation a collaborative effort Which I certainly would not shirk any more than colonel Hamilton and yet, we realized that. We needed a media We needed someone else who might be there and help enlighten us to a compromise and a resolution And I believe all of you know of whom. I am referring to do you not the mighty Little Madison the most luminous mind I have ever known who knows more about ancient history and ancient civilizations And nations applicable to what is best to maintain the common good in this Modern world and therefore? seated at a repast there in the corner of Pearl and Maiden street the three of us if you recall colonel came to a compromise, and that is simply that You sir would seek to influence your northern Supporters to accept the idea of the residency Act in the south to place our nation’s capital below the Mason and dixon along a navigable Waterway perhaps half in Virginia, Hath and Maryland Below the four lines of such a river and at the same time that I? would encourage my southern supporters to accept the idea of the assumption bill even if it meant that Virginia and the Carolinas would have to pay their war debt once again the compromise was made With the idea that this debt would become a principle of government to make Payment every Year until it was finally eradicated was it not? Was that not your premise of that compromise that it should become a principle of good government? to pay off the debt every year make that initial and continuous effort to do so every year and see the debt paid off within a short period of time and yes Did we not come to agreement that its central currency would be necessary? I myself took the initiative to draw up a standard of currency based upon the the the decimal system, sir I agreed that this would bring us the closer together to solidify a united effort To pay off the debt provide a standard of currency betwixt Massachusetts and in Georgia. That is what we had in mind and then what did we find with him, but a year so suddenly the idea to be fully enforced of a national bank a National Bank to to provide the Direct action to provide the Authority to provide the administration you remember my immediate reply, sir – your concerted effort in that regard where in our Constitution does it even infer the creation of a national bank there are implied as well as express powers Realized I ask you are we to rest upon inference on such an important subject As the finance of our nation grant you this I am not denying that we have within our Constitution a means to create a debt. Yes article 1 section 8 the enumeration of the powers of the Legislative Body Flamingo’s But in times of war colonel Hamilton in times of war where there is a dire necessity not to fuel if you will Elements of usury in the hands of those who can afford to purchase in times that are necessary not Necessarily in just in times of war when it is absolutely necessary In my duties as secretary of the treasury the congress ordered me in addition to the series of cutters We created to guard our Eastern coast against the smuggling going on I was ordered to set up a series of lighthouses along our Eastern shore Nowhere in the constitution does it state that we may have a lighthouse and yet it Became necessary to build one if we can build a lighthouse we can build it and I agree we can build lies Houses sir because that is essential to our nation’s safety and defense We are agreed as well upon the idea of Militia boats for the defense of our our coastline We are agreed as well on a universal system of education to improve Our citizenry particularly that they might recognize the principles upon which our nation has been founded and not err or stray too far from them, but the idea of this national bank in such a kelud well a convoluted form I Could not understand it many of the members of the congress could not understand it in fact as I have written I doubt even colonel Hamilton himself understood it But the purpose of the matter was not so much that the congress comprehended as the colonel desired to have accomplished No what he desired to have accomplished was what? the sale the sale Simply buy it now and therefore Sir would you agree? Would you not enjoy very much to say risk the possibility of becoming rich? Rather than to face the reality of being poor That is how is the carrot sir grab at it if you choose but mind yourself Whatever the capital you put forth others have had the opportunity to match it perhaps, Tenfold our Nation’s Finances in the early days. We’re in a woeful state. We were eighty million dollars in debt if you can imagine 80 million now my system for handling the finance was threefold first the assumption of the war debt It was absolutely imperative that that passed second to take the debt convert it into an interest-bearing bonds and sell those bonds on the open market and third the Establishment of the National Bank one thing hinging on the other it is if without one part the whole thing might fail So we needed all of it now as first as to the assumption Bill We needed to all assume that debt We were at that time Thirteen separate countries if you will all with our own Negotiations with foreign countries, whoever our debtors were and we were getting the worst deals possible moreover They were great fears that we would not pay and we were there were great fears that we would default the several states would default Can you imagine a time when the states are in danger of defaulting? Was I’m using now By all assuming the debt we establish our credit we also assure our debtors that we will in fact pay And by doing that we establish our credit which is absolutely imperative that we do to do so states like Individuals who keep their engagements or pay their bills are? Respected and trusted and the reverse is true of those who pursue an opposite conduct were we to allow The state of Massachusetts to to fall into default it were the worst Blackest name on assassination the eyes of the World are upon this nation We are the great experiment and we must proceed with the greatest conduct now It’s that second part this selling of bonds right now It is a strange perversion of ideas and an idea as novel as it is strange that men Should be deemed corrupt and criminal for wanting to become Proprietors in the Welfare of their nation either through purchasing government Shares or government bonds from a national bank? Which leads us of course to the national bank which we have every right to have we can build a lighthouse? We can build a bank and the bank is necessary. It is absolutely necessary for the stabilization of our currency to give us greater facility in the collection of taxes and to give us loans in time of need or absolutely necessary Necessary if you will to secure a future monarchy of ownership The General Citizen body continued to deplete their coffers in being led along the idea That perhaps they might no longer have to reside upon farms. Why endeavor such a overbearing Livelihood when they might be the more successful to reside in Urban Markets and thereby to become dependent upon another for their sustenance rather than the cultivation of the soil, I Ask you citizens again to reflect upon our nation but dominantly seated with Farmers those the chosen upon this earth who provide if you will the principles of self-government by holding the reins of the cultivation of soil in their hands providing directly their sustenance the sustenance of their families the sustenance of their neighbourhood the sustenance of our nation could you Imagine our nation of farmers deciding. It is time that we leave our farms and resettle in this centers of counting houses May I ask both of you gentlemen to Kindly? Take your seats General I Hope you are clear upon the fact if I will not seek a third term Mr.. Jefferson I Don’t believe that. This is a debate in its truest sense With regard to city men versus farmers, and I say that from the perspective of a farmer Colonel Hamilton I Do not believe that it is easy to put in place and enforce programs That the common man does not fully understand But to use your own words Thomas It was you that said a difference of principle does not differ incipient does not necessarily mean Precisely, it’s not the first it is an ancient adage indeed you know Gentlemen I Will tell you that? faction and division It has its place in terms of warming the debate in the discussion but left unchecked it becomes a consuming flame I Am reminded of a story of the final day of the constitutional convention it Was the day in which we had signed the document 17 september 17 and 87 and I had been the presiding officer at that convention. I had thanked all the delegates for their service and Dismissed each and every one of them. I was up on the dais putting my papers together and I heard tap-tap-tapping approaching the Dais and I look up and there is Dr.. Franklin of Blessed Memory I Stepped down off the dais. I took his arm immediately I said doctor. How can I help you sir and May I thomas yes, he took his Crabtree walking stick with the gold cap his most prized possession if truth be told possession in which he left to me in his will and He started pointing it and he said general throughout these proceedings I have been looking at your chair I Said to him Doctor I don’t understand what you’re talking about, and he said through wincing in great pain you need to understand he suffered from the gouty had stones in his kidneys there were days where he could not even walk into the Proceedings of this constitutional settlement he he would be brought in on a litter carried on the shoulders of four prisoners From the Walnut street jail yet. He stood there. I at his elbow Again he raises his crabtree Walkingstick. He said your chair general your chair. I have been looking at your chair I Said forgive me doctor. I still do not ken to what you’re saying and He went on to tell me that throughout these proceedings with the great Rancor and the great Divisions and the Faction that would arise wealthy States versus poor states Large States versus small States free States versus Slave States He said I saw this union coming crashing to the ground before it could stand and Yet today general, and I will tell you he had a tear in his eye Today general we have signed this document what he was referring to on my chair Was that there was a son carved on the Horizon? And he had said to me when painters paint a sun on the Horizon or wood Carvers carve a sun on the Horizon You cannot tell if it is a rising sun or a setting one And of course on the shoulder board of my chair was beautiful sun carved on the Horizon gilded This is what he was pointing at and this is what he was referring to when he said to me today I have the great happiness to report that it is a rising sun on America and not a setting one I Tell you this And I remind you gentlemen this In that we will not succeed unless we do so with amity and mutual concession that We will not stand as a union Unless we stand together and that we can accomplish anything as I mentioned earlier We can’t accomplish anything as long as we do so in Union I speak on behalf of secretary Jefferson and secretary Hamilton in thanking you and We all three remain your humble and your obedient servants you

2 thoughts on “Funding a Nation: Washington, Jefferson and Hamilton

  • From this debate it seems: Hamilton could not see that the devil is in the central banking details…though throughout history in wages of war, men have conspired towards the bettering of their advance at the cost of the retreat of others in loss of their standards; Hamilton thinks a bully government will faithfully discharge the regulation of the weakened people's finance. Jefferson sees that though we pushed the king from his throne; we left his office vacant and barren with weeds and thorns encroaching as to occupy its seat and seal.

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