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To Alexander Hamilton from Philip Schuyler, 10 April 1797

From Philip Schuyler

Albany Monday April 10th 1797

My Dear Sir

The Governor left this on the day of the date of your letter covering one for him1—which as it is now useless I do not return to you.

I am so much in disposed that I apprehend I shall not be able to attend Congress at the opening of the session,2 If it all.

In the present posture of our affairs, France seems to have left us no Alternative but a mean and Ignominous submission to her despotic caprice or a dignified resentment, under my present feelings I am for the latter, even at the risk of an open rupture, for I believe It better manfully to meet a war than to degrade the national Character by a pussilanimous Acquiescence In Insult and injury. Our Commerce will suffer, but It suffers already as much or nearly as much as It would were war actually proclaimed. Our seaports too will be exposed to insult they are so Already—and we have no means of protecting them, unless we seek aid where only It is to be found as well for the protection of our commerce as of our ports, I mean by an Alliance with Britain. It is not now, and I believe never will be the interest of that nation to see france domineer over us. It cannot be the interest of the former ever to Attempt to annex those states to her diminions, I believe we are more valuable to her, Mutual good will subsisting, as independant states than we could be as colonies. Indeed the Attempt by either nation to subjugate us appears to me must most certainly fail.

I hope to have the pleasure of seeing you My Dear Eliza and the Children here at the Close of this or early in next week.

God bless you all   Yours most affectionately

Ph: Schuyler

ALS, Lloyd W. Smith Collection, Morristown National Historical Park, Morristown, New Jersey.

1Neither H’s letter to Schuyler nor his letter to John Jay has been found.

On the day Schuyler wrote this letter to H, Jay was in New York City where he issued the following commission: “Whereas by an Act of the Legislature of this State ‘to render the Funds of this State more productive of Revenue’ it is enacted & provided, that no Obligation or Covenant concerning the Premisses shall be passed or Executed between the Treasurer of this State and the Corporation of the Bank of New York, until the same shall have been approved by the Person administering the Government of this State for the Time being—or by the Attorney General thereof, together with one or more of such Counsel learned in the Law, as the Person administering the Government of this State shall for that purpose appoint—Now Know Ye that for the Purpose aforesaid, I have appointed & hereby do appoint Samuel Jones Esqr., the Comptroller of this State and Alex Hamilton Esqr both of them Counsellors learned in the Law” (copy, from the original in the New York State Library, Albany). Under the terms of this act, which was passed on February 17, 1797 (New York Laws, 20th Sess., Ch. XXIII), the Bank of New York purchased United States six percent stock and deferred stock from the State of New York and also agreed to advance the state money from time to time as should be required.

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