Alexander Hamilton Papers
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To Alexander Hamilton from Timothy Pickering, 14 December 1795

From Timothy Pickering1

Philadelphia Decr. 14. 95.

Dear Sir,

The printer of Mr. Randolph’s vindication advertises that it will be published next Friday.2 The translation of Fauchet’s letter will be in it.3 This translation was made by Mr. Taylor4 at Randolph’s request; but Mr. Taylor, who desired the use of mine, told me that he had made but few variations. Now if I have mistaken the sense in any material passages, it is highly probable that they will be transferred to Mr. Taylor’s translation: or Mr. Taylor may mistake the meaning of some passages; to which he will always be liable from the want of a comprehensive view of his subject. I have met with such instances in his other translations, altho’ he is more familiar with the French than I am.

Now it seems to me important that the first translation of Fauchet’s letter that shall be published, should convey its true meaning: and therefore I wish earnestly that yours, or the one you are correcting,5 may be returned by to-morrow’s post (if not already on its way) that it may be printed in Fenno’s paper6 before the vindication appears.

I am very sincerely & respectfully yours

T. Pickering

Colo. Hamilton

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress; ALS, letterpress copy, Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston.

1For background to this letter, see Oliver Wolcott, Jr., to H, July 30, 1795, note 1.

2This is a reference to Edmund Randolph, A Vindication of Mr. Randolph’s Resignation (Philadelphia: Printed by Samuel H. Smith, No. 118, Chesnut Street, 1795). This pamphlet was published on December 18, 1795.

3This is a reference to Fauchet’s Dispatch No. 10. The translation to which Pickering is referring may be found in Randolph, Vindication description begins [Edmund Randolph], A Vindication of Mr. Randolph’s Resignation (Philadelphia: Printed by Samuel H. Smith, No. 118, Chesnut Street, 1795). description ends , 41–48.

4George Taylor, Jr., chief clerk of the State Department. In a note on page 61 of Randolph, Vindication description begins [Edmund Randolph], A Vindication of Mr. Randolph’s Resignation (Philadelphia: Printed by Samuel H. Smith, No. 118, Chesnut Street, 1795). description ends , Randolph wrote: “The translation [of Dispatch No. 10] has been made by a gentleman at my request, and delivered to the Printer, after I left Philadelphia.…”

6John Fenno was editor of the [Philadelphia] Gazette of the United States. A translation of Dispatch No. 10 was published in the Gazette on December 21, 1795. This translation was taken from Randolph, Vindication description begins [Edmund Randolph], A Vindication of Mr. Randolph’s Resignation (Philadelphia: Printed by Samuel H. Smith, No. 118, Chesnut Street, 1795). description ends , 41–48. On December 22, 1795, “Features of Fauchet’s Letter, as published in Mr. Randolph’s Vindication,” appeared in the same paper.

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