Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to James McHenry, 13 November 1800

To James McHenry

[New York] November 13. 1800

Dr. Mac

You have seen my letter.1 You would think the close of it temporising. But the Fœderal Stomach would not bear a stronger dose. I regret that my early opinion was not pursued.2 All would then have stood better.

The press teems with answers to my pamphlet. I may have to reply. If I do I shall reinforce my position by new facts. Assist me with such as you may possess.

Did you yourself see the letter, in which he declared that a single visit to the opposition would hurl the British Ministry from their thrones.3 Give me a precise account of it?

Is not your letter to the President recapitulating your last conversation on the files of the War Office?4

Yrs. truly


To prevent a mortal scism among the Fœderalists he must be voted for by them every where.

James Mc.Henry Esq

ALS, The Sol Feinstone Collection, Library of the American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia.

2This is a reference to a draft of H’s Letter, October 24, 1800, which has not been found. See the introductory note to H’s Letter, October 24, 1800. See also H to McHenry, August 27, 1800; McHenry to H, September 4, 1800; Oliver Wolcott, Jr., to H, October 2, 1800.

3In November, 1783, John Adams, who had recently completed his duties as peace commissioner in Paris, had just arrived in London, where he was waiting to receive a commission from Congress to negotiate a treaty of commerce with Great Britain. On November 13, 1783, he wrote to Thomas Mifflin, President of the Continental Congress. “In my humble opinion, the only suitable place for us to negotiate the treaty in, is London. Here, with the most perfect politeness to the ministry, we may keep them in awe. A visit to a distinguished member of the opposition, even if nothing should be said at it about public affairs, would have more weight with the ministers than all our arguments. Mr. [John] Jay is, I believe, of the same opinion” (LC, Adams Family Papers, deposited in the Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston). See also McHenry to H, October 12, 1800, note 1.

4See McHenry to H, May 20, June 2, 1800.

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