Alexander Hamilton Papers
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To Alexander Hamilton from Oliver Wolcott, Junior, 31 August 1802

From Oliver Wolcott, Junior

Litchfield [Connecticut] Aug 31. 1802.

My Dear Sir,

I have recd. your favour of the 14th. instant & I sincerely thank you for the friendly attention to my Interests therein manifested. It is certain that I must immediately engage in some active business, or wholly confine my expences to the prospects of my family, to what can be produced from a small farm. A removal from this place, considering the state of Mrs. Ws. health & that my children are of very tender age, is the circumstance which constitutes the principal difficulty in forming an immediate decision. I will come to New York some time during the fall months, when the whole subject can be maturely considered. In the plan you propose, that part, which includes commercial speculations attended with hazard, would be insisted on by me, as an indispensable requisite.

I have written a reply to the Report of the Committee of Investigation, which is in the Press at Boston, and of which a Copy, will be sent you by my request.1 This pamphlet will I trust furnish several useful Trut[h]s to those who wish comment upon the conduct of our present administration.

Since my return from Boston after my answer was committed to the Press, I have discovered a second edition of the Report of the Committee,2 with several documents, which were not annexed to the first,3 has been printed & sent to the members of Congress. As I had intimated an opinion that there was an impropriety in publishing the report without the Vouchers to which it refers4—& as some of these Vouchers have been since published, the democratic printers may possibly cavil at my observations. If this should happen, I wish that it may be immediately stated by Mr. Coleman, that even in the second Edition, the whole of the Letter of Mr. Gallatin of March 2d. 1802, with the explanatory statements, favourable to Mr. Pickering, & adverse to Mr. Randolph, are omitted.5 When he sees my pamphlet, he will readily perceive the importance of rendering this fact as prominent as possible.6

I am Dr Sir truly yours

Oliv Wolcott.

Alexander Hamilton Esq

ADfS, Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford.

1On April 22, 1802, a report was submitted to the House of Representatives by a committee which had been appointed on December 14, 1801, “to inquire and report, whether moneys drawn from the Treasury have been faithfully applied to the objects for which they were appropriated, and whether the same have been regularly accounted for; and to report, likewise, whether any further arrangements are necessary to promote economy, enforce adherence to legislative restrictions, and secure the accountability of persons entrusted with the public money” (Annals of Congress description begins The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States; with an Appendix, Containing Important State Papers and Public Documents, and all the Laws of a Public Nature (Washington, 1834–1852). description ends , XI, 319). For the text of this report and related documents, see ASP description begins American State Papers, Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States (Washington, 1832–1861). description ends , Finance, I, 752–821.

On October 8, 1802, John Quincy Adams wrote to Rufus King: “It [the committee report] has since been analysed and refuted by several publications in various parts of the Union, but most effectually by a pamphlet of Mr Wolcott …” (LC, Adams Family Papers, deposited in the Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston).

Wolcott’s pamphlet is entitled An Address to the People of the United States, on the Subject of the Report of a Committee of the House of Representatives, Appointed to “Examine and Report, Whether Monies Drawn from the Treasury, Have Been Faithfully Applied to the Objects for Which They Were Appropriated, and Whether the Same Have Been Regularly Accounted For,” Which Report was Presented on the 29th of April, 1802 (Boston: Printed by Russell and Cutler, 1802).

2Report of the Committee Appointed to Examine and Report Whether Monies, Drawn from the Treasury, Have been faithfully applied to the objects for which they were appropriated, and whether the same have been regularly accounted for; and to report likewise whether any further arrangements are necessary to promote economy, enforce adherence to legislative restrictions, and secure the accountability of persons entrusted with public money. April 29, 1802. Read, and ordered to lie on the table. 1st May, 1802. Motion to recommit the Report to the same select Committee, further to consider and report thereon to the House, negatived (Washington: Printed by William Duane, 1802).

3Report of the Committee, Appointed to Examine and Report Whether Monies, Drawn from the Treasury, Have been faithfully applied to the objects for which they were appropriated, and whether the same have been regularly accounted for; and to report likewise whether any further arrangements are necessary to promote economy, enforce adherence to legislative restrictions, and secure the accountability of persons entrusted with public money. April 29, 1802. Read, and ordered to lie on the table (Washington: Printed by William Duane, 1802).

4See Wolcott, An Address to the People of the United States, on the Subject of the Report of a Committee of the House of Representatives, 52–53.

5On March 2, 1802, Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin submitted a report to the House committee investigating the disbursement of public money. This report contained answers to queries that the committee had sent to him on January 21, 1802. For Gallatin’s letter and supporting documents, see ASP description begins American State Papers, Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States (Washington, 1832–1861). description ends , Finance, I, 755–821. Gallatin’s letter was also published as a pamphlet (Communication from the secretary of the Treasury to the chairman of the committee, appointed to investigate the state of the Treasury, in answer to the enquiries made by the Committee [Washington City: Printed by William Duane, 1802]).

6See the New-York Evening Post, September 16, 1802.

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