Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Henry Lee, [16 July 1794]

From Henry Lee

[Richmond, July 16, 1794]

My dear H.

To shew you that all is not anger & that truth may perhaps regain its empire I enclose the gazette of the day.1


H Lee

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1This letter is endorsed in an unidentified handwriting as follows: “Inclosing printed Report of Committee of enquiry into the Treasury.” It is more likely, however, that the enclosure was a copy of the [Richmond] Virginia Gazette and General Advertiser for July 16, 1794, which contained a letter by “A Friend to Merit.” This letter reads in part as follows: “Is it not somewhat surprising, that the report of the Committee of Congress, on the examination into the transactions of the Treasury Department, has not yet been published in any of the papers of your City? When round and lumping charges of malconduct, were made against the Secretary of the Treasury; and while the subject was under a regular course of investigation; our public prints were filled with tedious and laboured narratives, and details of horrid mismanagements; of breaches of public trust; of corruption; and of the most wanton and unjustifiable violation of laws by the Secretary.… Such performances … were published and re-published, by request—’till most people were sick of reading, tho’ it must be confessed, that numbers believed implicitly, every thing that was told them. But how does the affair now stand? Why, the most scrupulous investigation by a large committee of Congress, hath taken place: and what is very extraordinary … all the Secretary’s open enemies, accusers, and persecutors … were of that Committee, and were compelled … to Bring in a Report, by which they were under the direful necessity … of convicting the said Secretary of the Treasury of having acted from the purest principles … by the most inviolable and unshaken integrity, and that he never lost sight, in any one step, of the public good.… Now … it is but right, that this report should be published in your paper. For the people at large, have too much understanding, and what is better, too much honesty, not to determine right, when fairly informed.…”

The first installment of the report of the select committee appointed to examine the Treasury Department immediately follows this letter in the Virginia Gazette and General Advertiser. See Stephen Higginson to H, June 17, 1794, note 5.

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