From Philip Schuyler
Albany May 28th 1800
My Dear Sir
Yesterday I met with Mr. Isaac Ogden1 at the Liut Governors,2 who Informed me that Mr Samual Shoemaker3 now residing at or near Philadelphia, had declared to him Mr. Ogden that he had seen a letter from Mr Jefferson to Mr. William Smith4 written during the late war, in which Mr Jefferson intreated Mr. Smith to make his Mr Jeffersons peace with the british Commander in chief.5
As Mr Smith was in the habit of regularly filing his papers, if such a letter was written, It may probably be found with Mr Smiths papers and I suggested to Mr Ogden to entreat Mr Sewal6 who is son in law to Mr Smith to examine the papers, and If the letter is found to transmit it to the Liut Govr or me, by a special messenger whom I would pay for bringing it.
Mr Ogden is suspected of not always adhering to veracity, but as he has mentioned Mr. Shoemaker as having seen the letter I think he would not have said what he has, If there was no foundation for It. Would It not be well to cause inquiry to be made from Mr Shoemaker, If he has seen such a letter?
In yesterdays papers printed here It was stated that the Antifoederalists will have a Majority of twenty one, in the Joint ballot of both houses.7 I believe the Statement is nearly If not quite correct.
We are all well & unite in love to You, my Eliza & the Children. We hope She and the Children will leave N York for this place immediately after your departure for Oxford,8 and that you will from hence come to this place.
I am my Dear Sir Ever most Affectionately Yours
Hone. M: Genl Hamilton
ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.
1. Ogden, a New Jersey lawyer and Loyalist, moved to New York City during the American Revolution. After the war the British government appointed him judge of the Admiralty Court in Quebec.
2. Stephen Van Rensselaer.
3. Before the American Revolution, Shoemaker, a resident of Philadelphia, had been a member of the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly and the mayor of Philadelphia. A Loyalist, he moved to New York City in 1778 and went to England in 1783. In 1786 he returned to Philadelphia, where he lived until his death on October 10, 1800.
4. Smith, one of the best-known American Tories and author of a history of the Province of New York, was appointed chief justice of New York in 1779. He went to England in 1783, where he stayed until 1786, when he went to Canada to become chief justice, a position he held until his death in Quebec in 1793.
5. No such letter has been found.
6. Jonathan Sewall, Jr., was the son of Jonathan Sewall, a Massachusetts Tory, who left the American colonies to live first in England and later in Canada. Jonathan Sewell, Jr., became chief justice of Lower Canada and in 1796 married Henrietta or Harriet Smith, William Smith’s tenth and youngest child.