Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Henry Hill, 22 October 1792

From Henry Hill1

[Philadelphia] Octo. 22d. 1792


Wishing the Secretary to waste no time in the pursuit of such Will’s o’ the wisp I wou’d take upon me the publication mention’d & leave my name with the Printer.

The last paragraph if approv’d of might read thus—“Printers willing to administer an antedote to similar poisons will give a place in their respective papers to this sample of the rumours continually propagated to destroy the Confidence of their fellow Citizens in public Characters.”2

I am Sir with all regard—Your most Obedt. Servt. &c.

Henry Hill

P.S. Be pleas’d to return the inclos’d if you allow me to proceed.

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1Hill, one of the founders of the Bank of North America and a member of the Pennsylvania legislature during the American Revolution, was a Philadelphia merchant.

2An article which closed with this paragraph appeared in the [Philadelphia] Gazette of the United States on October 31, 1792. It reads as follows:

“About a fortnight since, at Christiana, in the State of Delaware, five or six gentlemen being together in conversation on public subjects and public characters,—one of the company, a Mr. M’Kennon, told a story of the Secretary of the Treasury, and as he supposed upon undoubted authority, nearly in the following words:

“‘Colonel Hamilton, said he, applied to Governor Mifflin; and represented the propriety of restricting the democratic ascendency in the national government, which might be effected by the introduction of aristocrats; adding, that if he (Governor Mifflin) would co-operate in the formation of this counter-poise, the Secretary would pledge himself to get him elected Vice-President of the United States.

“‘The Governor declined these overtures, alledging that he had never discovered to any one, and should maintain his reserve, whether he was attached to this or the other principle, in government; but he knew full well the unalterable bias of those who supported him. And, as to the Vice-Presidency, he did not hesitate to declare, that he was more ambitious of remaining at the head of Pennsylvania.’

“A gentleman of the State of Delaware, to whom this conversation was communicated, in order to an investigation of the truth of the story, called upon Governor Mifflin, who in unequivocal term, declared, that,

“‘No such conversation ever happened, nor could he recollect any circumstance that could give birth to so ridiculous a tale.’

“Printers willing to administer an antidote to similar poisons, will give a place in their respective papers to this sample of the unfounded rumours continually propagated to destroy the confidence of their fellow-citizens in public characters.” ([Philadelphia] Gazette of the United States, October 31, 1792.)

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