Alexander Hamilton Papers
Documents filtered by: Recipient="Monroe, James" AND Period="Adams Presidency"
sorted by: author

From Alexander Hamilton to James Monroe, 9 August 1797

To James Monroe1

New York August 9. 1797

Sir

The intention of my letter of the 4th instant, as itself imports, was to meet and close with an advance towards a personal interview, which it appeared to me had been made by you.

From the tenor of your reply of the 6th, which disavows the inference I had drawn, any further step on my part, as being inconsistent with the ground I have heretofore taken, would be improper.

I am Sir   Your humble servt

A Hamilton

James Monroe Esq

ALS, Lloyd W. Smith Collection, Morristown National Historical Park, Morristown, New Jersey; ALS (photostat), Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress; copy, in H’s handwriting, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress; ADf, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress; ADf, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress; ADfS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress; copy, in Monroe’s handwriting, The Library, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

1This letter is document No. LII in the appendix to the printed version of the “Reynolds Pamphlet,” August 25, 1797. For background to this letter, see the introductory note to Oliver Wolcott, Jr., to H, July 3, 1797.

The first two drafts are on the same sheet of paper. The first draft reads: “My letter of the fourth instant was meerly to meet and close with an overture which it appeared to me was intimated in your preceding one.

“The complexion altogether of Yours of the 6th., received this day appears to me to be such as with consistency or propriety will admit of no further step on my part.”

The second draft, all of which is crossed out, reads: “My letter of the fourth instant was meerly to meet and close with an advance towards a personal interview which it appeared to me had been made by you.

“Your letter of the 6th received this day puts this affair upon a ground which would render any further step on my part inconsistent and improper.”

On the back of the sheet containing the first two drafts H wrote: “A letter of which the inclosed is a copy was written & dld to Col Burr, who advised a revision & alteration as best adapted to some eventual course which might obviate the necessity of publication. Aug. 9 1797.”

The third draft, which H signed, reads: “My letter of the 4th instant was manifestly to meet and close with an overture which it appeared to me was intimated in your preceding one—

“The complexion altogether of yours of the 6th received this day appears to me to be such as, with consistency or propriety, will admit of no further step on my part”

The copy in the Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress, of the letter which was finally sent to Monroe is in H’s handwriting and is endorsed by H: “copy of second letter did August 9, 1797.” The “second letter dld” to Monroe on this date is the letter printed above.

Aaron Burr believed that “a personal interview” had been averted, for on August 9, 1797, he wrote to Monroe: “The Thing will take an amicable course and terminate, I believe to your Satisfaction” (ALS, deposited in the Library of The Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, New Hampshire).

Index Entries