First Federal Loan

Alexander Hamilton - Government Official, Military Leader, Lawyer, Economist, Political Scientist, Journalist -

Alexander Hamilton – Treasury Secretary, Military Leader, Lawyer, Economist, Political Scientist, Journalist –

Sunday, September 17 — On this date in 1787, the Constitutional Convention wrapped up in Philadelphia with the delegates accepting the document and sending it on to the states for ratification. Less than two years later, the new U.S. government had to become a borrower.

This week in 1789, Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton negotiated a loan of nearly $192,000 from the Bank of New York and the Bank of North America. The money was needed to pay the salaries of President Washington and the members of the first Congress. The loan was obtained in February 1790, and paid off in June. Today, the president’s salary is $400,000 a year — more than twice the amount of the first loan — and the debt of the 50 state governments represented in Congress is about $1.14 trillion.

Profile America is in its 21st year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.

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