Description

    Thomas Fitzsimons Autograph Letter Signed, "Thos FitzSimons". Three pages 7.75" x 8. 9", New York, August 1, 1790, to Dr. Benjamin Rush in which the Pennsylvania Congressman commends the recently-passed Assumption Act in which the federal government assumed the debts of the several states. Passage of this act was part of a significant compromise between Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson. Hamilton wanted the federal government to assume all debts incurred by the states during the Revolutionary War. However, as most of the debt was held by northern states, southerners bristled at the imposition. To quell this southern unease, a compromise was made to locate the federal capital in the south. Due to this compromise, Hamilton was able to secure key southern votes to enable the passage of the Assumption Act. Fitzsimmons writes, in part: "You have seen before now-our plan for funding the debt, which the upon the face of it a little Whimsical - Comes upon the whole to something like what you seemed to wish - I expect the execrations of some of our Avaricious public Creditors - but, the good Effects of our System already appears - Public Securitys [sic] are now Selling here at 13/4 in the L - and before the End of the Year I have no doubt [it] will be at 16/6 while Real Estates will increase in the same proportion the whole sum to be raised annually is less than 3.400.000 dollars-which...will be done by adding a few pence 1b to tea- & something more to Spirits & Wine - Not a shilling on lands or Houses- on the Contrary we have rendered it unnecessary for the States to lay any such taxes, as we have taken the burthen of debt off their shoulders...Add to this the benefits that will accrue from the Residence of Congress- & the Negotiations of all the Revenue - & You must admit that our time here however uselessly spent as to ourselves has not been so as it respects our State [Pennsylvania] - if this will not cover a multitude of our Political Sins - I wonder at it..." Fitzsimons (1741-1811) served as president of Philadelphia's Chamber of Commerce, trustee of the University of Pennsylvania, and a founder and director of the Bank of North America. Mounting strip along left margin wit a few minor chips, light folds, else fine. This piece contains rather important historical content dating to our early Founders. Ex. Henry E. Luhrs Collection.

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    Auction Dates
    October, 2007
    25th-26th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
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