From Oliver Wolcott, Junior
Washington October 1st. 1800
My Dear Sir
I have recd. your favour of September 26th. and have made a few notes, which I will revise and send to you to morrow. The style & temper is excellent, no observations occur to me upon the first part of the Draught.1
You will judge of the expediency of sending the Letter, from the information which you possess of the public opinion. I have no lights beyond those which I suggested as from Massachusetts, in a late Letter which I wrote to you2 & which I hope you recd. The advice from that quarter was opposed to any publication with your signature. I am of opinion with you, that anonimous publications do no good.
Presuming that you would want the draught I enclose it. I will write more at large to morrow.
Yrs with sincere Esteem
Alexr Hamilton Esqr
P. S. I enclose a So. C. paper. There is in it a publication, not much to my mind. Mr. P—ought not to have suggested a doubt of the authenticity of the Letter to Tench Coxe.3
ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress; LC, Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford.
1. Wolcott is referring to a draft, which has not been found, of H’s Letter from Alexander Hamilton, Concerning the Public Conduct and Character of John Adams, Esq. President of the United States, October 24, 1800.
3. On September 16, 1800, a letter from Thomas Pinckney, dated “Moultrieville, 15th Sept. 1800,” appeared in the [Charleston] City Gazette & Daily Advertiser. Pinckney’s letter reads: “A letter copied from a newspaper of Baltimore, having been inserted in your ‘Gazette’ of Saturday last [September 13, 1800], signed John Adams, and purporting from its contents to have been written to Mr. Tench Coxe, of Philadelphia, in the year 1792, wherein are contained some comments on my appointment as minister plenipotentiary to the court of Great Britain; I think it right at present only to state, that this letter either is a forgery, calculated for electioneering purposes, or, if genuine, must have been founded on a misapprehension of persons. This last suggestion I infer from facts alluded to in the letter, and from the subsequent nomination of my brother, General Pinckney, to two highly confidential offices by its supposed writer.
“To my fellow-citizens of South-Carolina, who have so often honored me by testimonies of their confidence, I should deem it unnecessary to urge a syllable of justification from such charges as are implicated in this production, however authenticated; but as it appears, from the time of its publication, to be calculated for more extensive influence, I deemed it of importance publicly to state what is above, that those persons who may be unacquainted with the characters concerned, may be guarded against giving credit, either to the authen[ti]city or justice of this performance, until the event of an investigation, which I will immedately commence, shall be made public.”
For Adams’s letter to Coxe, see Wolcott to H, September 3, 1800, note 23.