Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to Philip Schuyler, 22 March 1801

To Philip Schuyler

New York March 22

My Dear Sir

We did not leave Albany till near twelve on Friday and the next day about one, I arrived here1—where I found the two families in good health.2

The darkness of the night obliged us to come to Anchor in Haverstraw Bay.3 About mid-night we were alarmed with the cry of “All hands upon Deck.” You will imagine we were not slow in our obedience. No sooner were we on Deck than we perceived by a flame issuing out of the Forecastle that the vessel was on Fire. The pilot, a resolute man, possessing himself of a bucket of water, plunged amidst the flames at great hazard of suffocation, and dashed the ⟨wa⟩ter upon the part from which the flame ⟨iss⟩ued. This gave it a check, ⟨a⟩nd a repetition of the application ⟨soon⟩ conquered it.

The fire was occasionned by heat communicated below from the bricks of the Cabouse from which the flame penetrated upwards along the Cieling. Five minutes more would probably have rendered it impracticable to save the vessel.

Nothing new here. Eliza joins in tenderest affection to her mother & yourself.

Adieu My Dear Sir

A Hamilton

General Schuyler

ALS, Judge Peter B. Olney, Deep River, Connecticut.

1H was in Albany from February 22 to March 20, 1801, attending the New York State Court of Errors. See H to Elizabeth Hamilton, February 20, 1801.

2H is referring to his own family and the family of John B. Church. Church’s wife was Angelica Schuyler, Elizabeth Hamilton’s older sister. In 1801 the Churches lived at 52 Broadway in New York City, and the Hamilton family lived at 26 Broadway.

3Haverstraw Bay is located on the west band of the Hudson River approximately six miles northwest of Ossining.

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