Maryland Claims Stock in the Bank of England
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Pickering encloses a copy of a letter (included) from Samuel Chase concerning the stock owned by the state of Maryland being held in the Bank of England and vigorously claiming their rights to the entire stock. TIMOTHY PICKERING.
Letter Signed, as Secretary of State, to Rufus King, Minister Plenipotentiary in England; [Philadelphia], February 7, 1798. 1 p., 8 x 10 in. With: fair copy of Samuel Chase’s Letter to Pickering, Baltimore, January 21, 1798. 2 pp., 8 x 10 in.
N.o 6. Department of State, Feb.r 7.th 1798.
I enclose the copy of a letter dated the 21.st ult. from Samuel Chase Esq.r Agent of the State of Maryland, relative to the stock of that State in the Bank of England. In that letter and in the re-solves of the General Assembly of Maryland, the opinions and wishes of the State are so fully expressed, I have only to transmit them to you for your information and government in the further prosecution of the claim.
I have the honor to be / Very respectfully, Sir, / Your obed.t servant
Rufus King Esq.r Minister Plenipotentiary / &.c &.c / London
(Copy) Baltimore 21.st Jan.y 1798~
The communications to you from Mr. King, respecting the Stock in the Bank of England, belonging to this State, have been laid before the General Assembly thereof, and their opinion on this subject is explicitly declared in the Resolutions, which I have now the honor to enclose you; and which I request the favor of you to transmit to Mr. King, by the first opportunity, that may offer. – With great reluctance the Legislature consented, that Mr. King should take a transfer of any thing less than the whole of the Stock; to which they conceive they have a most unquestionable right.
I have been informed, that it has been referred to the Officers of the Crown of Great Britain to report, whether his Majesty should direct a transfer of the stock to the State absolutely, or conditionally; and if conditionally, on what terms. – The report has been made; but the contents not known. If any conditions of transfer are stipulated the reasons for imposing them are probably suggested in the report. If no part of the Stock is to be detained by the Crown of Great Britain, Mr. King will take a transfer of the whole; but if part is detained, Mr. King will accept the residue; but in this case the Legislature of this State expect that, on a candid and firm representation to the British Government, on behalf of this State, by the Minister of the United States, the residue <p.2>will be immediately obtained; and if it fails, they hope that, at some more favorable time, the British Government will do them Justice. – The detention of any part of the Stock is considered by Maryland as an act of injustice, not warranted by the Law of England, or the Law of Nations; and is in violation of the Treat of Peace of 1783. It is certainly impolitic in the Crown of Great Britain to confiscate money in the National funds; and it seems also impolitic to disgust an important memeber [sic]of our National Government, particularly at this time, and for the trivial sum of £10, or 11,000 Ster.g, and it may be remembered that the vote of Maryland decided the subject of appropriation, and consequently the fate of the late Treaty.
I have the honor to remain, / with great respect and esteem / y.r most obed.t Serv.t
The Honorable / Timothy Pickering, / Secretary of State.
Timothy Pickering (1745-1829) joined the militia in 1766 and served in the American Revolution under George Washington, becoming adjutant general from 1777–78 and quartermaster general from 1780–85. He later served as U.S. postmaster general from 1791–95, Secretary of War in 1795, and Secretary of State from 1795–1800. He served in the U.S. Senate from 1803 to 1811 and in the House of Representatives from 1813 to 1817. A leader of the Federalist Party, he was a member of the Essex Junto, and he opposed the War of 1812. After retiring from politics, he turned to experimental farming and education.