Birth of the Nation: The First Federal Congress 1789-1791 | Next Page
The Compromise of 1790
Thomas Jefferson's Account of the Bargain [1818]
Thomas Jefferson's Account of the Bargain, [1818]
(Courtesy of the Library of Congress)

The compromise was an early example of executive and legislative cooperation. After the fact and with a concern for justifying his role, Secretary of State Jefferson described the dinner at which the terms of the bargain were arranged. Secretary of the Treasury Hamilton did not need to persuade Northerners to vote for the residence bill; he had only to keep them from interfering with an existing arrangement between Pennsylvania and the South. Hamilton had the painful task of explaining his position to New York's Sen. Rufus King, who recorded the secretary's comments: "the funding System including the assumption is the primary national Object. . . . the project of Philadelphia & Potomack is bad, but it will insure the funding system and the assumption." (Memorandum, June 30, 1790, New York Historical Society)

Text transcript of Jefferson's account (excerpt).

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