Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from James Reynolds, 2 May 1792

From James Reynolds1

Philadelphia 2d. May. 1792.


I must now for ever forbid you of visiting Mrs. R any more I was in hopes that it would in time ware off, but I find there is no hopes. So I am determed to put a finell end to it. if its in my power. for I find by your Seeing her onely Renews the Friendship, and likewise when you Call you are feareful any person Should See you am I a person of Such a bad Carector. that you would not wish to be seen in Coming in my house in the front way. all any Person Can say of me is that I am poore and I dont know if that is any Crime. So I must meet my fate. I have my Reasons for it for I cannot be Reconsiled to it. for there is know person Can tell the pain it give me except the[y] were plased in my sutivation I am shure the world would despise me if the[y] Onely new what I have bin Reconsiled to, I am in hopes in a short time to make you amends for your favour Rendered me I am Sir your humble Servant

J. Reynolds

Alexr. Hamilton Esqr.

1This letter is printed as document No. XVII in the appendix of the “Reynolds Pamphlet,” August 31, 1797.

For background to this letter, see Reynolds to H, December 15, 17, 19, 22, 1791, January 3, 17, March 24, April 3, 7, 23, 1792; H to Reynolds, December 15, 1791, April 7, 1792; Maria Reynolds to H, December 15, 1791, January 23–March 18, March 24, 1792.

H described this letter as follows: “The letter No. XVII is a master-piece. The husband there forbids my future visits to his wife, chiefly because I was careful to avoid publicity. It was probably necessary to the project of some deeper treason against me that I should be seen at the house. Hence was it contrived, with all the caution on my part to avoid it, that [Jacob] Clingman should occasionally see me.

“The interdiction was every way welcome, and was I believe, strictly observed.” (“Reynolds Pamphlet,” August 31, 1797.)

Index Entries