Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from John Penn, 21 August 1801

From John Penn1

Spring Gardens London
August 21st. 1801


A respect for great talents & virtues, under the direction of sound judgement, & long exemplified in times of danger & difficulty, induces me to request that you would do me the honour of accepting the two volumes of poems, illustrated with plates,2 which will be sent nearly at the time of the present letter, as a tribute due to them. Among the plates are representations of a spot in England, which naturally suggest to me, as approving the hospitality which has distinguished it, the pleasure I should have in seeing those gentlemen there to whom the work is given as from the author. The great distance at which you live ought, perhaps, to make me despair of having that satisfaction in the present case; & yet, give me leave to say that should you ever come to England, I should be most happy in the opportunity of improving an acquaintance, scarcely formed with you, several years ago, in the neighbourhood of Philadelphia. I am, Sir,

with great esteem,   your most obedient humble servant

J Penn

LS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1Penn, the son of Thomas Penn and a grandson of William Penn, was an English writer who from 1782 to 1789 lived in Pennsylvania, where he owned property. In 1789 he returned to England, and in 1798 he became sheriff of Buckinghamshire.

Penn should not be confused with his cousin, John Penn, lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania from 1763 to 1771 and again from 1773 to 1776, who was the son of Richard Penn and also a grandson of William Penn.

2John Penn, Poems, consisting of original Works, Imitations, and Translations, 2 vols. (London, 1801).

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