From Philip Hamilton1
[New York] April 21, 1797.
I just now received the enclosed letter from grandpapa,2 in answer to a letter I wrote to him, in which he has enclosed to me three receipts for shares in the Tontine Tavern,3 amounting to £100. I have given the receipts to mama.
I delivered my speech to Dr. Johnson4 to examine. He has no objection to my speaking; but he has blotted out that sentence which appears to be the best and most animated in it; which is, you may recollect it
“Americans, you have fought the battles of mankind; you have enkindled that sacred fire of freedom which is now,” &c. Dear Papa, will you be so good as to give my thanks to grandpapa for the present he made me, but above all for the good advice his letter contains—which I am very sensible of its being extremely necessary for me to pay particular attention to in order to be a good man. I remain your most affectionate son
P.S. You will oblige me very much by sending back the letter I have enclosed to you.
Hamilton, Reminiscences description begins James A. Hamilton, Reminiscences of James A. Hamilton (New York, 1869). description ends , 15; Hamilton,Intimate Life, 216–17.
1. Philip Hamilton, H’s oldest child, was a student at Columbia College.
2. Philip Schuyler.
3. The Tontine Plan, which was named for a Neapolitan banker, Lorenzo Tonti, provided its members with the essential features of a lottery and a program for old-age security. In 1791 a group of New York City merchants organized the Tontine Association and erected a building on the corner of Wall and Water streets. In 1793 this building became the headquarters for the stock exchange.
4. William Samuel Johnson was president of Columbia College from 1787 to 1800.