Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to George Clinton, [25 December 1782]

To George Clinton

[Philadelphia, December 25, 1782]1


Perhaps before this reaches you, you will have heard that the British have impliedly acknowleged our independence—by giving a commission of the 23d. of September to Mr Oswald to treat with The thirteen United States of America.2

Many are sanguine in expecting that peace will be the result of the Negotiations, for my part I have hopes, but if it should not be the case I shall not be much disappointed. There are many jarring interests that will not be easily adjusted.

I have the honor to be   With perfect respect   Sir   yr most obed

A Hamilton

As Mrs Hamilton may be on the route I take the liberty to inclose a letter3 for her which I request the favour of you to forward or return as circumstances shall dictate.

ALS, The Miriam Lutcher Stark Library, The University of Texas.

1This letter is misdated “December 27, 1782,” in Richard B. Morris, The Peacemakers: The Great Powers and American Independence (New York, 1965), 531, note 37.

2One of the major obstacles in the Anglo-American peace negotiations in Paris during the summer of 1782 was the British refusal to treat with the American peace commissioners as representatives of an independent nation. On September 21, 1782, however, the British cabinet authorized the British peace commissioner, Richard Oswald, “to treat of, consult, and conclude with any commissioners or persons vested with equal powers, by and on the part of the thirteen United States of America …” (Francis Wharton, ed., The Revolutionary Diplomatic Correspondence, of the United States [Washington, 1889], V, 748–50).

3Letter not found. Elizabeth Hamilton was on her way from Albany to Philadelphia to join H, who was a delegate to the Continental Congress. See H to ——, October 12, 1782 (printed in this volume). See also H to Elizabeth Hamilton, December 18, 1782 (PAH description begins Harold C. Syrett, ed., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton (New York and London, 1961– ). description ends , III, 226).

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