To Elizabeth Hamilton
Fish Kill [New York] Sunday Evening
6 oClock 1
My Dear Eliza
I am just arrived here after a very comfortable journey. Our intention is to reach Albany on Wednesday morning, from which place I shall immediately write to you. I am less and less pleased with the prospect of so long a separation from my beloved family & you may depend shall shorten it as much as possible.
Dumphey2 had planted the Tulip Trees in a row along the outer fence of the Garden in the road and was collecting some Hemlock Trees to plant between them. I desired him to place these in a row along the inner fence—I mean the side nearest the house.3 But having attended to them in my route, I shall be glad, if White Pines are not conveniently to be had, that besides those along the inner fence there may be one Hemlock between every two of the Tulip Trees along the outer fence.
Give my love to Angelica4 & assure [her] that I did not leave her pye out of resentment for her having changed its original destination; but because it was impossible to take it with us without abandonning a basket of Crabs which was sent to my care for Mrs. Rensselaer.5 It has always been my creed that a lady’s pleasure is of more importance than a Gentleman’s, so the pye gave way to the Crabs. It was a nice question, but after mature reflection I decided in favour of the latter. Perhaps as a Creole I had some sympathy with them.
Mrs. E Hamilton
ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.
1. In HCLW description begins Henry Cabot Lodge, ed., The Works of Alexander Hamilton (New York, 1904). description ends , X, 421–22, the second paragraph of the letter printed above is included as part of a letter dated “February 19, 1801.” For this letter, see H to Elizabeth Hamilton, 1803.
2. For H’s payments to Thomas Dumphey, see Dumphey’s account, March, 1802–July, 1803, in H’s Cash Book, 1795–1804 (AD, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress).
3. H is referring to his house in upper Manhattan, called the Grange. See the introductory note to Philip Schuyler to H, July 17, 1800.
4. Angelica Hamilton, H’s oldest daughter and second child.
5. Margarita Schuyler Van Rensselaer, younger sister of Elizabeth Hamilton, was the wife of Stephen Van Rensselaer.