COLLECTION GUIDES

United States Continental Loan Office, Massachustts receipts

FIND Keywords

1786-1792

Guide to the Collection


Collection Summary

Abstract

This material consists of receipts received and issued by Nathaniel Appleton, Continental loan officer in the state of Massachusetts, from 1786 to 1792 for loan certificates, debts, and liquidated stock for sinking the national debt after the Revolutionary War.

Historical Sketch

Following the actions at Lexington and Concord in 1775, one of the first issues the second Continental Congress faced when it convened that May 10 was how to gather the funds necessary to prosecute a war. The colonies had only recently retired their debt for the French and Indian war--there was approximately the equivalent of $12 million circulating (in specie and paper money) in the entire country; the Continental Congress had no power to raise revenue through taxes; and had no credit on which to borrow money. Given this situation, the Congress initially raised funds in the only manner possible, by printing bills of credit. Each colony was requested to levy taxes in support of the war effort, with the revenue to go to the Board of Treasury to cover the interest on the bills and create a sinking fund to retire them. As legislative powers were claimed by both British and colonial/state agents to the confusion of all, and with the states lacking the framework for collecting taxes, Congress received very little in the way of revenue from the states during the course of the war.

After the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783 ending the Revolutionary War, Congress found itself saddled with almost $8 million in foreign and $42+ million in domestic debt--and without direct powers of taxation as a means to repay the war debt. Of the $8 million requisitioned from the states in 1782, only $420,031 had been repaid by January 1783. Although the individual states often assumed their share of the national debt, paying interest due on bills and certificates issued to their citizens through the Continental Loan Offices, it was clear to Superintendent of Finance Robert Morris that only revenue powers under a national government would allow the fledgling nation to retire its public debt. Lacking that, however, Morris worked tirelessly to settle the domestic debt, so that in 1782, Congress began to liquidate its accounts with individuals who had not already settled with their respective state treasurers. Commissioners for each state inspected and assigned a value to all claims and issued interest-bearing final settlement certificates.

Continued deterioration of the nation’s finances, culminating in tax revolts like Shays’s Rebellion, along with a growing acceptance that the remedy lay in amending the financial provisions of the Articles of Confederation, ultimately led to the Constitutional Convention. With the ratification of the U.S. Constitution in 1789, Congress was finally able to impose and collect taxes to fund the common defense and debts of the United States. In 1790, Alexander Hamilton proposed a new plan to fund the national debt. Rather than pay it off, he recommended the consolidation of old debts into new securities (stocks) with public revenues specifically pledged to pay their interest. Subscribers to these certificates of federal debt received a 6% stock issue, interest starting in 1791 and payable quarterly, equal to 2/3 the principal due. The final 1/3 came in the form of another 6% certificate of deferred interest that would start in 1801. Another stock certificate of 3% covered the interest due from December 31, 1789 to December 31, 1794. Hamilton’s plan was ultimately a success, and what remained of the domestic war debt was paid off by individual states establishing sinking funds to retire any outstanding debt certificates.

Collection Description

This collection consists of receipts and loan certificates for Revolutionary War debt received and issued by Nathaniel Appleton, Continental loan officer for the state of Massachusetts, from 1786 to 1792. The collection primarily consists of documents for the 1790 loan program created by Hamilton, but also contains certificates and receipts from earlier loan programs.

Acquisition Information

Gift of John Appleton, February 1862.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Massachusetts Continental loan office certificates of interest on certificates of liquidated stock receipts, 1786-1787

Received of Nathaniel Appleton, Continental loan-officer, in the state of Massachusetts, [ ] dollars, /90 in [ ] certificates, being for interest on [ ] certificates of liquidated debt amounting to [ ] dollars, /90 specie value, to 31st December 1784, for which I have signed two receipts to this tenor and date, [ ]178_.

Box 1Folder 1
Receipt # 10 issued on 9 May 1786 to Samuel Breck and endorsed by Thomas Appleton on his behalf for three thousand seven hundred forty six dollars 59/90, interest due on three hundred thirty five certificates liquidated debt.
Box 1Folder 2
Receipt # 57 issued on 27 May 1786 to Elbridge Gerry of Cambridge, Mass. for eight dollars 70/90, interest due on two certificates liquidated debt.
Box 1Folder 3
Receipt # 317 issued on 1 September 1786 to Nathaniel Appleton for thirty four dollars 30/90, interest due on five certificates liquidated debt.
Box 1Folder 4
Receipt # 427 issued on 28 September 1786 to Timothy Dexter of Newburyport, Mass. for four thousand four hundred fifty four dollars 30/90, interest due on twenty five certificates liquidated debt.
Box 1Folder 5
Receipt # 539 issued on 20 October 1786 to John Ashley, Jr. of Sheffield for one hundred ninety dollars 68/90, interest due on thirty two certificates liquidated debt.
Box 1Folder 6
Receipt # 1327 issued on 5 March 1787 to Samuel Phillips, Jr. of Andover, Mass. for four hundred twenty seven dollars 18/90, interest due on thirty-four certificates liquidated debt.

This receipt is printed "31st December 178_" instead of "31 December 178_"

Massachusetts Continental loan office miscellaneous receipts

Box 1Folder 7
Receipt # 724 issued on 25 October 1786 to Peleg Coffin, Jr. for fourteen dollars 14/90, interest due on two certificates liquidated debt.

Received of Nathaniel Appleton, Continental loan-officer, in the state of Massachusetts, [ ] dollars, /90 in [ ] certificates, being for interest on [ ] loan office certificates amounting to [ ] dollars, /90 specie value, to 31 December 1784, for which I have signed two receipts to this tenor and date, [ ]178_. Witness my hand, [ ] 178_. Dollars. /90.

Box 1Folder 8
Receipt # 3458 issued on 17 July 1788 to Jonathan Appleton of Salem, Mass. for one hundred eighty dollars 2/90, specie value certificate.

Received of Nathaniel Appleton, Continental loan-officer, in the state of Massachusetts, [ ] Loan-Office certificate, No. [ ] being the specie value of sundry Loan-Office Certificates cancelled as per account no. [ ] herwith, for which I have signed another receipt of this tenor and date. Witness my hand this [ ] day of [ ] 178_. [ ] certificate amounting to [ ] doll. /90.

Massachusetts loan office certificates of funded debt, 6% and 3% interest

Received of Nathaniel Appleton, Commissioner of loans in the state of Massachusetts, the following certificates of funded debt, viz. One certificate bearing interest at six per cent. per annum from the first day of January, 1791 payable quarter yearly, and redeemable by payments not exceeding in one year the proportion of eight dollars upon a hundred on account of principal and interest [ ]. One certificate bearing the like interest from the first day of January 1801, and subject to be redeemed in like manner [ ]. One certificate bearing interest at three per cent per annum, from the first day of January 1791, payable quarter yearly, and redeemable at the pleasure of the United States [ ]. Dollars [ ]. Amounting in the whole to [ ] being in full certificates of public debt contained in a statement of this date, numbered [ ] for which I have signed duplicate receipts.

Box 1Folder 9
Receipt # 398 issued on 17 December 1790 to James Warren, Jr. signed by his father James Warren, Sr. for six hundred fifty nine dollars and seventy eight cents.
Box 1Folder 10
Receipt # 850 issued on 15 February 1791 to John Glover of Marblehead, Mass. for five thousand eighty six dollars and thirty three cents.
Box 1Folder 11
Receipt # 1542 issued on 6 July 1791 to John Stark, signed by his son Caleb Stark, for eight thousand one hundred sixty dollars.
Box 1Folder 12
Receipt # 1019 issued on 12 September 1792 to Charles Coffin, signed by James Minot, for three hundred twenty three dollars.
Box 1Folder 13
Receipt # 2138 issued on 18 October 1792 to Dwight Foster of Brookfield, Mass. for one hundred ninety nine dollars and seventy one cents.
Box 1Folder 14
Receipt # 604 issued on 1 May 1792 to Moses Everett of Dorchester, Mass. for two thousand three hundred seventy six dollars and seventy six cents.
Box 1Folder 15
Two blank certificates not issued

Massachusetts loan office receipts issued for interest on stock in the 6% and 3% funds of the United States, 1791-1792

No. [ ] Commissioner's Office. Received of Nathaniel Appleton, Commissioner of loans in the state of Massachusetts, for interest on stock in the funds of the United States to the [ ], the following sums, viz. amounting to [ ] for which I have signed duplicate receipts.

Box 1Folder 16
Receipt # 285 issued on 5 July 1791 to William Phillips for 53 cents interest on stock in the 6% and 3% funds of the United States to 30 June 1791.
Box 1Folder 17
Receipt # 317 issued on 12 September 1791 to John Appleton, signed by his trustee Nathaniel W. Appleton, for 12 cents interest on stock in the 6% and 3% funds of the United States to 30 June 1791.
Box 1Folder 18
Receipt #709 issued on 2 July 1791 to Samuel Phillips for fifty four dollars and nintey two cents interest on stock in the 6% and 3% funds of the United States to 31 March 1791.
Box 1Folder 19
Receipt # 390 issued on 30 June 1792 to Robert Brown, signed by his attorney Nathan W. Appleton, for three dollars and seventy seven cents interest on stock in the 6% and 3% fund of the United States to 30 September 1791.
Box 1Folder 20
Receipt # 574 issued on 23 March 1792 to Samuel Phillips for fifty four dollars and ninety two cents interest on stock in the 6% and 3% fund of the United States to 31 March 1792.
Box 1Folder 21
Receipt # 17 issued on 7 May 1792 to William Tudor for ten dollars and eighty four cents interest on stock in the 6% and 3% fund of the United States to 31 March 1792.
Box 1Folder 22
Receipt # 935 issued on 18 April 1792 to the president and directors of the Massachusetts Bank, endorsed by John Lowell, cashier, for four hundred forty three dollars interest on stock in the 6% and 3% fund of the United States to 31 March 1792.
Box 1Folder 23
Receipt # 1270 issued on 3 April 1792 to Ebenezer Clap for seventy cents interest on stock in the 6% and 3% fund of the United States to 31 March 1792.

United States loan office receipts for deposited certificates of funded debt, 1791

This certifies that [ ] has deposited in this office [ ] certificates, issued by the state of Massachusetts, amounting, principal and interest computed to December 31st, 1791, to [ ]. Money of said state, as per abstract No. [ ] which sum he has subscribed towards a loan proposed by an act of Congress, making provision for the debt of the United States, passed August 4th, 1791.

Box 1Folder 24
Receipt # 331 issued on 14 July 1791 to Samuel Morey, Jr. for three certificates of funded debt valued at two hundred pounds and four shillings, ten pence.
Box 1Folder 25
Receipt # 346 issued on 19 July 1791 to Jabez Porter of Braintree, Mass. for one certificate of funded debt valued at twenty three pounds and seven shillings, four pence.
Box 1Folder 26
Receipt # 359 issued on 19 July 1791 to Shubaal Peck of Rehoboth, Mass. for two certificates of funded debt valued at one hundred pounds and thirteen shillings, ten pence.
Box 1Folder 27
Receipt #400 issued on 28 July 1791 to Mary Sargent, wife of Nathaniel P. Sargent of Haverhill, Mass., signed by Daniel Parker for five certificates of funded debt valued at one hundred thirty one pounds and six shillings, eleven pence.
Box 1Folder 28
Receipt #426 issued on 3 August 1791 to Edward Emerson, Jr. of York, Mass. for five certificates of funded debt valued at seven hundred twenty six pounds and twelve shillings, one pence.
Box 1Folder 29
Receipt # 438 issued on 4 August 1791 to John Crawford of Boylston, Mass. for one certificate of funded debt valued at two hundred fifty three pounds and fifteen shillings, one pence.
Box 1Folder 30
Receipt # 452 issued on 8 August 1791 to John Saunders of Salem, Mass. for two certificates of funded debt valued at fifty one pounds and thirteen shillings, ten pence.
Box 1Folder 31
Receipt # 509 issued on 16 August 1791 to Moses Richards of Rowley, Mass. for seven certificates of funded debt valued at one hundred sixty eight pounds and eleven shillings, eleven pence.
Box 1Folder 32
Receipt # 533 issued on 18 August 1791 to Paul Sandford of Attleborough, Mass. for two certificates of funded debt valued at thirty four pounds and one shilling.
Box 1Folder 33
Receipt # 655 issued on 31 August 1791 to Matthew Simonton of Cape Elizabeth for one certificate of funded debt valued at eighty one pounds and fifteen shillings, one pence.
Box 1Folder 34
Receipt # 672 issued on 2 September 1791 to Ebenezer Prescott of Westford, Mass. for two certificates of funded debt valued at fifty four pounds and two shillings, eight pence.
Box 1Folder 35
Receipt # 701 issued on 5 September 1791 to John Merrill of Topsham, Mass. for six certificates of funded debt valued at four hundred forty nine pounds and eighteen shillings, three pence.
Box 1Folder 36
Receipt # 706 issued on 6 September 1791 to Samuel Tufts of Newburyport, Mass. for twelve certificates of funded debt valued at two hundred twenty seven pounds and two shillings, ten pence.
Box 1Folder 37
Receipt # 707 issued on 6 September 1791 to Meriam Tracy of Newburyport, Mass. for one certificate of funded debt valued at two hundred sixty two pounds and nine shillings, six pence.
Box 1Folder 38
Receipt # 710 issued on 6 September 1791 to Elizabeth Burt of Newburyport, Mass. for one certificate of funded debt valued at fifty seven pounds and three shillings, four pence.
Box 1Folder 39
Receipt # 718 issued on 7 September 1791 to Sarah Weld of Roxbury, Mass. for one certificate of funded debt valued at ninety three pounds and eight shillings, eleven pence.
Box 1Folder 40
Receipt # 730 issued on 8 September 1791 to Elizabeth Grosvenor of Harvard, Mass. for two certificates of funded debt valued at one hundred sixty one pounds and six shillings, one pence.
Box 1Folder 41
Receipt # 776 issued on 12 September 1791 to William Sumner of Dorchester, Mass. for one certificate of funded debt valued at forty six pounds and eleven shillings, eleven pence.
Box 1Folder 42
Receipt # 796 issued on 14 September 1791 to Abraham Rand of Salem, Mass. for one certificate of funded debt valued at sixty three pounds and eleven shillings.
Box 1Folder 43
Receipt # 801 issued on 14 September 1791 to Nathan Whitney of Westminster, Mass. for eight certificates of funded debt valued at three hundred two pounds and fourteen shillings, one pence.
Box 1Folder 44
Receipt # 837 issued on 21 September 1791 to Margaret Manning of Providence, Rhode Island for one certificate of funded debt valued at forty pounds and twelve shillings, two pence.
Box 1Folder 45
Receipt # 853 issued on 23 September 1791 to Henry Bass of Boston, Mass. for seven certificates of funded debt valued at two hundred thirty one pounds and eight shillings, eight pence.
Box 1Folder 46
Receipt # 868 issued on 26 September 1791 to merchants Clarke and Nightingale of Providence, Rhode Island for six certificates of funded debt valued at one thousand three hundred ninety two pounds and two shillings, two pence.
Box 1Folder 47
Receipt # 886 issued on 27 September 1791 to John Mason of Swansey, Mass. for five certificates of funded debt valued at one hundred ninety nine pounds and five shillings, eight pence.
Box 1Folder 48
Receipt # 897 issued on 29 September 1791 to Henry Bass of Boston, Mass. for two certificates of funded debt valued at five hundred sixty eight pounds and sixteen shillings, nine pence.
Box 1Folder 49
Receipt # 961 issued on 30 September 1791 to Josiah Humphrey of Weymouth, Mass. for three certificates of funded debt valued at seventy seven pounds and twelve shillings, five pence.
Box 2Folder 1
Receipt # 965, and stub, issued on 30 September 1791 to Benjamin Boardman of Hartford, Conn. for one certificate of funded debt valued at fifty six pounds and eleven shillings, three pence.
Box 2Folder 2
Receipt # 967 issued on 30 September 1791 to Susanna Grafton of Salem, Mass. for one certificate of funded debt valued at fifty four pounds and four shillings, four pence.
Box 2Folder 3
Receipt # 1013 issued on 30 September 1791 to Jonathan Bowen of Warren, Mass. for one certificate of funded debt valued at one hundred twenty four pounds and seven shillings, six pence.
Box 2Folder 4
Receipt # 1025 issued on 30 September 1791 to Ebenezer Bradish, treasurer of the Lexington, Mass. farm fund, for one certificate of funded debt valued at ninety five pounds and nineteen shillings, one pence.
Box 2Folder 5
Receipt # 1047 issued on 30 September 1791 to Silas Paine of Braintree, Mass. for four certificates of funded debt valued at sixty eight pounds and eight shillings, seven pence.
Box 2Folder 6
Receipt # 1056 issued on 30 September 1791 to Nathaniel Ropes of Salem, Mass. for ten certificates of funded debt valued at three hundred seventy eight pounds and five shillings, ten pence.
Box 2Folder 7
Receipt # 1096 issued on 30 September 1791 to John Fisher of Medfield, Mass. for two certificates of funded debt valued at one hundred twelve pounds and four shillings, seven pence.
Box 2Folder 8
Receipt # 1133 issued on 30 September 1791 to Jonas How, guardian to Mary Richards, of Rutland, Mass. for twelve certificates of funded debt valued at three hundred thirty seven pounds and thirteen shillings, eight pence.
Box 2Folder 9
Receipt # 1157 issued on 30 September 1791 to Josiah Melvin of Packersfield, New Hampshire for three certificates of funded debt valued at one hundred thirty pounds and two shillings, ten pence.
Box 2Folder 10
Receipt # 1163 issued on 30 September 1791 to David Mitchell of North Yarmouth, Mass. for certificates of funded debt valued at eighty eight pounds and one shilling, four pence.
Box 2Folder 11
Receipt # 1192 issued on 30 September 1791 to John Akins of Dartmouth, Mass. for two certificates of funded debt valued at one hundred ninety five pounds and nineteen shillings, eleven pence.
Box 2Folder 12
Receipt # 1195 issued on 30 September 1791 to David Burt of Longmeadow, Mass. for ten certificates of funded debt valued at six hundred twenty three pounds and nine shillings, nine pence.
Box 2Folder 13
Receipt # 1200 issued on 30 September 1791 to Dr. Mathias Rice of Scarborough, Maine for five certificates of funded debt valued at seventy three pounds and seven shillings, nine pence.
Box 2Folder 14
Receipt # 1217 issued on 30 September 1791 to Timothy Allen of Dover, Mass. for one certificate of funded debt valued at one hundred thirty seven pounds and ten shillings.
Box 2Folder 15
Receipt # 1222 issued on 30 September 1791 to Jonas How of Rutland, Mass. for two certificates of funded debt valued at eighty two pounds and one shilling, nine pence.
Box 2Folder 16
Receipt # 1240 issued on 30 September 1791 to Jonathan Gay of Needham, Mass. for one certificate of funded debt valued at one hundred twenty seven pounds and ten shillings.
Box 2Folder 17
Receipt # 1285 issued on 30 September 1791 to William Walker of Dighton, Mass. for three certificates of funded debt valued at thirty eight pounds and sixteen shillings, eight pence.
Box 2Folder 18
Receipt # 1296 issued on 30 September 1791 to Hubbard Haskell of Gloucester, Mass. for four certificates of funded debt valued at eighty five pounds and seven shillings, eleven pence.
Box 2Folder 19
Receipt # 1302 issued on 30 September 1791 to Aaron Davis of Roxbury, Mass. for two certificates of funded debt valued at forty four pounds and nine shillings, one pence.
Box 2Folder 20
Receipt # 1314 issued on 30 September 1791 to William Sears of Beverly, Mass. for four certificates of funded debt valued at one thousand three pounds and nineteen shillings, one pence.
Box 2Folder 21
Receipt # 1316 issued on 30 September 1791 to James Davis of Holden, Mass. for ten certificates of funded debt valued at two thousand fifty one pounds and fifteen shillings, five pence.
Box 2Folder 22
Receipt # 1317 issued on 30 September 1791 to Josiah Cheney of Holden, Mass. for one certificate of funded debt valued at forty one pounds and two shillings, two pence.
Box 2Folder 23
Receipt # 1329 issued on 30 September 1791 to Samuel Bellingham of Coventry, Rhode Island for one certificate of funded debt valued at seventeen pounds and eighteen shillings, eleven pence.
Box 2Folder 24
Receipt # 1333 issued on 30 September 1791 to Charles Coffin for one certificate of funded debt valued at ninety six pounds and eighteen shillings, ten pence.
Box 2Folder 25
Receipt # 1349 issued on 30 September 1791 to Mary White for one certificate of funded debt valued at twenty three pounds and eighteen shillings, nine pence.

United States loan office receipts for transferred certificates in the funded 6% interest of the United States

Box 2Folder 26
Receipt # 205 for certificate no. 62.B transferred from Benjamin Dana to Christopher Gore on 26 February 1791 in the amount of ten thousand dollars in the funded six percent stock.

Received of Nathaniel Appleton, commissioner of loans, a certificate no. [ ] for [ ] dollars [ ]/100 in the [ ] per cent stock, by virtue of a transfer of [ ] dollars [ ]/100 from [ ].

Box 2Folder 27
Receipt # 206 for certificate no. 1011 transferred from Jonathan Templeman to Nathaniel A. Haven on 28 February 1791 in the amount of one thousand two hundred seventy nine dollars and sixty one cents in the funded six percent stock.

Received of Nathaniel Appleton, commissioner of loans, a certificate no. [ ] for [ ] dollars [ ]/100 in the [ ] per cent stock, by virtue of a transfer of [ ] dollars [ ]/100 from [ ].

Box 2Folder 28
Receipt #565 for certificate no. 1537 transferred from John Lowell to John Lane of London, England on 6 June 1791 in the amount of ten thousand four hundred twenty dollars and ninety-five cents in the funded six percent stock.

Received of Nathaniel Appleton, commissioner of loans, [ ] certificate no. [ ] amounting to [ ] in the [ ] per cent. stock, by virtue of a transfer of [ ] dollars [ ]/100 from [ ] to [ ].

United States loan office receipts for transferred certificates of interest in the funded 6% stock of the United States

Received of Nathaniel Appleton, commissioner of loans, certificate no. [ ] amounting to [ ] in the [ ] per cent stock, by virtue of a transfer of [ ] dollars [ ]/100 from [ ] to [ ].

Box 2Folder 29
Receipt # 875 for certificate no. 1848 transferred from Abraham Fuller, treasurer of the town of Newton, Mass., to Thomas English, merchant of Boston on 16 August 1791 in the amount of one thousand two hundred eight dollars and sixty eight cents in the funded six percent stock.
Box 2Folder 30
Receipt # 1606 for certificate no. 2479 transferred from William Eustis to the president, directors, and company of the Bank of the United States on 2 January 1792 in the amount of nine hundred dollars in the funded six percent stock.

United States loan office transferred certificates in the deferred 6% stock of the United States

Received of Nathaniel Appleton, commissioner of loans, certificate no. [ ] amounting to [ ] in the [ ] per cent stock, by virtue of a transfer of [ ] dollars [ ]/100 from [ ] to [ ].

Box 2Folder 31
Receipt # 3568 for transferred certificates from Sarah Shaw to Samuel Dexter, Jr. on 29 April 1793 in the deferred six percent stock. Certificate no. 2853 in the amount of one thousand dollars and certificate no. 2854 in the amount of nine hundred eighty five dollars and thirty-four cents.

Preferred Citation

United States Continental Loan Office, Massachusetts receipts, Massachusetts Historical Society.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in ABIGAIL, the online catalog of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Researchers desiring materials about related persons, organizations, or subjects should search the catalog using these headings.

Persons:

Appleton, Nathaniel, 1731-1798.

Organizations:

Massachusetts. Continental Loan Office.
United States. Continental Loan Office.

Subjects:

Debts, Public--United States
Finance, Public--United States--History--1789-1801.
United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783--Finance.