Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Benjamin Goodhue, 15 November 1800

From Benjamin Goodhue

Salem [Massachusetts] Novr 15th 1800

My Dear Friend


I receiv’d your pamphlet,1 for which I thank you. I have always been of opinion, that We have been actuated by a pernicious plolicy in being so silent respecting Mr A, the public have been left thereby to form opinions favourable to him and of course unfavorible to those who were the objects of his Mad displeasure. I abominate the Hypocritical part which We have been necessitated to act in consequence thereof to promote our elections &c. Our General Court have appointed their Electors2 and I believe them all good men and Ames3 tells me who was present that they were alive to the object of having no one chosen who would not vote for Gen’l P as well as Mr A. I therefore take it for granted that they may be relied on as to that point.

I have seen a letter from B Bourn4 of R Island to Ames, he says he has sanguine expectations that they shall obtain federal Electors; but he fears unless they can be persuaded that N England will unite in voting for Mr P they will throw votes for him away and vote for A and some one else, I wish that Connecticutt Electors would compel them not to do so unworthy an Act by threatening to throw as many of Mr As votes away to make a balance, for you know my wish is that Mr P should be the man, and I would even hazzard the Election of Mr Jefferson rather than not obtain my wish—had you not better write to Connecticutt and R Island on this point—depend on it that many of our State Electors will vote for Mr A not as the object of their choice, but from policy as respects the present circumstances of our State, there is no such policy I presume existing in Connecticutt, and therefore several of their Electors may throw Mr As votes away without risquing any disadvantage. pray let me hear from you respecting our prospects. I have resign’d my seat5 and Mr Mason6 a firm federalist is appointed in my room. I could not continue out my time and I was affraid to trust a nother Gen’l Court to appoint my Successor least they may be Jacobinical.

Adieu with great regard   I am your faithfull

B Goodhue

A Hamilton Esqe.

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress; copy (incomplete), New York Society Library, New York City.

2For information concerning the presidential campaign of 1800, see the introductory note to H to Theodore Sedgwick, May 4, 1800.

3Fisher Ames.

4Benjamin Bourne, a Rhode Island Federalist, was member of the state General Assembly from 1780 to 1790, a delegate to the state Ratifying Convention in Newport in 1790, and a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1789 to 1797.

5Goodhue was elected to the United States Senate from Massachusetts to fill the unexpired term of George Cabot. He served from June 11, 1796, to November 8, 1800, when he resigned.

6Jonathan Mason, a Boston lawyer, was a member of the state Senate in 1799 and 1800. He was elected to fill Goodhue’s unexpired term and served in the United States Senate from November 14, 1800, to March 3, 1803.

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