Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from John Adams, 19 October 1785

From John Adams1

Grosvenor Square London Oct. 19. 1785


At the Instance of Mr. Hartley2 in behalf of his Friend Mr Francis Upton,3 I advised Mr Upton to apply to some Councillor in New York and particularly to Mr Hamilton, whose Reputation was known to me although his Person was not.

Mr Hartley now requests for Mr Upton a Letter of Introduction. As a total Stranger but by Character, it would be very difficult to find a Pretence to excuse the Liberty I take in presenting Mr Upton to you, and recommending his Case to your Attention. but as we say at the Bar, where I wish I was, Valeat quantum valere potest.

With much Esteem I have the Honour to be Sir your most obedient and most humble Servant

John Adams

Mr. Hamilton

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1John Adams, after serving as one of the American commissioners to negotiate a peace treaty with England, was appointed American envoy to the Court of St. James.

2Presumably David Hartley, one of the British emissaries for the negotiation of peace with the United States.

3Adams’s letter was sent as an enclosure to a letter which Francis Upton wrote to H on December 6, 1785. Upton was the son of Clotworthy Upton, Lord Templetown. Lord Templetown had in 1764 “obtained the King’s order in council for a grant of 20,000 acres of land in the province of New York … by Deed of the 3d. of April 1769 [he] conveyed the same in trust for the use of Francis Upton, Clotworthy Upton the younger and Sophia Upton and their heirs” (David Hartley to Thomas Jefferson, April 15, 1785, Thomas Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress). Francis Upton, who came of age on February 25, 1785, asked H to help him secure possession of this land. See Upton to H, December 6, 1785.

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