Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, [22] December 1799

To Charles Cotesworth Pinckney

Philadelphia Decr. [22]


The death of our beloved commander in Chief was known to you before it was to me.1 I can be at no loss to anticipate what have been your feelings. I need not tell you what are mine. Perhaps no friend of his has more cause to lament, on personal account, than my self. The public misfortune is one which all the friends of our Government will view in the same light. I will not dwell on the subject. My Imagination is gloomy my heart sad.

Inclosed is an order2 relative to the occasion which speaks its own object.

With the sincerest esteem and most affectionate regard   I remain Sir   Yr very Obed ser

G Pinckney

ADf, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1Tobias Lear notified relatives, friends, and public officials of Washington’s death. On December 15, 1799, Lear wrote in his diary: “The letters were sent by the following conveyances.

“To the President, Genl. Hamilton, & John Lewis by the Mail.

“To Col. W[illiam]. A. Washington, & Bushrod Washington by express to Colo [Thomas] Blackburn, requesting him to forward them by the same conveyance.

“To L[awrence]. Lewis & G[eorge]. W[ashington]. P[arke]. Custis by express. To General Pinckney, Col. [Burgess] Ball, Saml. Washington, G[eorge]. S[teptoe]. Washington, & Capt. [Thomas] Hammond, by my own servant Charles, with my riding horse.” (Letters and Recollections of George Washington. Being letters to Tobias Lear and others between 1790 and 1799, showing the First American in the management of his estate and domestic affairs. With a diary of Washington’s last days, kept by Mr. Lear [New York, 1906], 137.)

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