Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Francisco de Miranda, 7 February 1798

From Francisco de Miranda

a Londres ce 7. Fevrier 1798.

il-y-a quelque tems mon respectable et cher ami que j’eûs le plaisir de vous ecrir de Paris,1 et de vous envoier en même tems une Certaine Correspondence du ministre Diplomatique Munrroe2—ainsi que une histe. de la Revolution française par Desodoard.3 je n’ai reçü aucune repponse encore; ce qui ne me surprends pas, atendü la suitte des evenements: et sur tout ma nouvelle proscription du 18. frutidor,4 que je crois être le Coup-de-grace pour toutte <es>pece de Liberté en france—à moins d’un miracle!!! mais c’est le conti<ne>nt Americain tout entier qui semble se preparer à secour le joug d’une maniere sage et raisonable—et de former un corps d’allience avec les EtatsUnis, et l’Angleterre. C’est sur cet objet que je suis venü ici. je ne peus pas vous dire davantage pour le moment; mais J’espere que bientôt vous en sçaurez plus.5 Le Pamphlet de Harper6 est une chose excelente, et qui s’accorde parfaitement avec nos dispositions, et celles de ce pais-ici. Conduisez vous en consequence—et je crois que nous aurons gain de Cause à la fin, tant pour le bonheur du nouveaux monde, que pour la tranquilité de celui-ci. Mr. King votre ministreici, me parait un homme excelent, et fort instruit. Je le frequente avec plaisir, et je commence à lui faire quelques confidences sachant qu’il vous est ataché—ecrivez lui à ce sujet, et envoiez moi vos Lettres sous son addresse.

je n’ai pas le tems aujour’hui d’ecrir à notre Ami le Genl. Knox,7 ni au Col: Smith—8 faisez moi le plaisir de leurs dire mille choses de ma part, et de leurs communiquer la partie que vous jugerez à propos de celle-ci. mes compliments respectueux a mad. Hamilton.9

à Dieu.   yours sincerely

F. de Miranda.

Alexander Hamilton, Esq.

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

2James Monroe.

4This is a reference to the coup d’état of 18 Fructidor an V (September 4, 1797). See Rufus King to H, September 9, 1797. Miranda was banished by a resolution of September 4, 1797 (Duvergier, Lois description begins J. B. Duvergier, Collection Complète des Lois, Décrets, Ordonnances, Réglemens, et Avis du Conseil-d’Etat, Publiée sur les Editions Officielles du Louvre; de L’Imprimerie Nationale, Par Baudouin; et Du Bulletin des Lois (Paris, 1824–1825). description ends , X, 44). See also Réimpression de L’Ancien Moniteur description begins Réimpression de L’Ancien Moniteur, Seule Histoire Authentique et Inaltérée de la Révolution Française (Paris, 1847). description ends , September 6, 1797.

5On February 7, 1798, Rufus King wrote in cipher to Timothy Pickering: “I have had some reason to believe that the prospect of our being engaged in the war has revived the project that on more than one occasion has been meditated against South America.… Miranda who was certainly engaged in this scheme at the time of the affair of Nootka … came to this Country a few weeks since. He has been with the Ministry here by their desire or with their permission. The object is the compleat independence of South America; to be effected by the cooperation of England and the United States” (LS [deciphered], RG 59, Despatches from United States Ministers to Great Britain, 1791–1906, Vol. 7, January 9-December 22, 1798, National Archives). On February 26, 1798, King wrote to Pickering: “Two points have within a fortnight been settled in the English cabinet respecting South America. If Spain is able to prevent the overthrow of her present government and to escape being brought under the entire controul of France, England, between whom and Spain, notwithstanding the war, a certain understanding appears to exist, will at present engage in no scheme to deprive Spain of the possessions of South America. But if, as appears probable, the army destined against Portugal, and which will march thro’ Spain, or any other means which may be employed by France, shall overthrow the Spanish government, and thereby place the resources of Spain and of her colonies at the disposal of France, England will immediately commence the execution of a plan long since digested and prepared for the compleat independence of Sh. America. If England engages in this plan, she will propose to the United States to cooperate in its execution. Miranda will be detained here, under one pretence or another, until events shall decide the conduct of England” (copy [deciphered], RG 59, Despatches from United States Ministers to Great Britain, 1791–1906, Vol. 7, January 9-December 22, 1798, National Archives).

6Observations on the Dispute between the United States and France: Addressed by Robert G. Harper, Esq. of South Carolina to His Constituents, in May, 1797 (Philadelphia: Thomas Bradford, 1797).

7Henry Knox.

8William S. Smith, John Adams’s son-in-law, who had been secretary of the American legation in London in 1785, toured Europe with Miranda before returning to the United States in 1788.

9H endorsed this letter: “Several Years ago this man was in America much heated with the project of liberating S Amer from the Spanish Domination. I had frequent conversation with him on the subject & I presume expressed ideas favourable to the object and perhaps gave an opinion that it was one to which the UStates would look with interest. He went then to England upon it. Hence his present letter. I shall not answer because I consider him as an intriguing adventurer.”

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