From John B. Church1
[Down Place,2 August 2, 1791]
My dear Sir
The enclos’d is the Answer sent me by Mr. Alchorne,3 the Assay Master of the Mint, to the Enquiries respecting the Standard and Weight of Spanish Dollars which will I hope prove satisfactory. It is not in my Power at present to satisfy you respecting the Prices of Labor & Manufacturers, but I have taken Measures to inform myself of them and as it will take some Time, I shall hardly be able to send you the Account before the September Packet. I have been here about a Month and shall not return to London untill November, so that I know nothing of News or Politics but what I read in the public Prints. I fear there is no Disposition at present in our Ministers to treat properly with America. Lord Hawkesbury4 is lately admitted into the Cabinet, and his Prejudices are strong against you, and the Enthusiasm for maintaining the Navigation Act is such that there is not a Shadow of probability they will in any Shape relax. I have heard nothing since my last5 of Mr. Hammonds Appointment as Envoy to America6 but I believe he is certainly to be sent out.
Angelica is well and joins me in best and most cordial Wishes to Mrs. Hamilton and yourself.
I am My Dear Sir ever sincerely Yours &c &c
ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.
1. Church, who had married Angelica Schuyler, H’s sister-in-law, had become engaged in extensive business enterprises in the United States during the American Revolution. In 1782 he returned to England and in 1790 was elected to Parliament. During the seventeen-eighties H had managed his legal affairs in the United States.
2. “Down Place,” Church’s country estate purchased in 1787, was located in Berkshire, about four miles northwest of Windsor and about twenty miles from London. This information was supplied by Mr. T. R. Hay, Locust Valley, New York.
3. Stanesby Alchorne was assay master of the British Mint from 1764 to 1798.
4. Baron Hawkesbury was president of the Board of Trade and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.
5. Letter not found.
6. George Hammond’s instructions as Minister Plenipotentiary to the United States were dated September 2, 1791 (Bernard Mayo, ed., Instructions to the British Ministers to the United States, 1791–1812 [Washington, 1941], 1–2).