Hi Tom Vogler! How's it going?
The idea behind foreign "aid," is humanitarian. Unless I'm badly mistaken, the idea is not to have it repaid like a loan.
The second point is this: Michael Collins is quite right to point out that the United States was not in any position to give out foreign aid in the eighteenth century.
We were still a "developing" country in the nineteenth century. I do know that the United States started loaning money to allies in WWI and WWII.
The United States and "foreign aid" probably should be dated to 1945, as the United States was trying to create a new world order after the wreckage of World War Two.
Also, foreign aid was almost always about what is called "export promotion." Anywhere from 70-80 percent of the aid money goes right back to Western/American corporations, who then do whatever development project is required in the aid recipient country.
Foreign aid is never, ever, ever "free." The "aid" is "repaid" before it ever reaches the hands of the recipient nations----in fact, again, seventy to eighty percent never reaches the recipient nation.