Alexander Hamilton Papers
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From Alexander Hamilton to Edmund Randolph, 5 January 1795

To Edmund Randolph

T D Jany 5th 1795

Sir,

I have recd your two letters of the 3d instant.

On the 2d instant Mr. Dela Forest1 produced at my Office a draft of the Minister for forty thousand Dollars payable the 3d of September next.2 In consequance of what had passed between us, I took it for granted on the appearance of this draft, that the affair had been arranged between the Minister and you; and as the case was represented to be very urgent, I immediately accepted and registered the Bill expecting momently a communication from you. Thus is that point anticipated, and for the reasons given, in a manner, which I hope is agreeable to you.

I shall immediately write to General Mathew3 on the subject of the vessel.4 But would it not be adviseable to counsel Mr. Vaughan5 to take the Vessel back into his care till the inquiry is completed and an ultimate direction given. If this be expedient, it seems to me that it will be best for the advice to go to him through the Governor of Virginia, to whom he has addressed himself.6

With great respect & esteem, I have the honor to be Sir your Obt Servt.

Edmund Randolph Esqr.
Secretary of State

Copy, Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford.

1Antoine René Charles Mathurin de La Forest, French consul general in the United States.

3H’s letter of January 5, 1795, to Brigadier General Thomas Matthews of the Virginia militia has not been found.

5Lieutenant William Vaughan of Norfolk, Virginia.

6On January 8, 1795, Randolph wrote to Governor Robert Brooke of Virginia: “I do myself the honor of informing your Excellency, that the Secretary of the Treasury has undertaken to write immediately to General Matthews on the subject of the vessel, mentioned in your favor of the 25th Ultimo. He wishes, however, that Mr. Vaughan may be counselled to take the vessel back into his care ’till the inquiry is compleated and an ultimate direction given …” (LC, RG 59, Domestic Letters of the Department of State, Vol. 8, December 6, 1794–October 12, 1795, National Archives). Randolph again wrote to Brooke on February 16, 1795: “The inclosed copies of letters, respecting the pilot-boat of the British Consul at Norfolk [John Hamilton], have been forwarded to me by the Secretary of the Treasury…. Copy of a Letter from … [Thomas] Matthews to the Secretary of the Treasury dated 20th. January 1795, covering

“Letter from … [Thomas] Matthews to Govr. Lee of 8th. April 1794

“Extract of Genl. Matthews letter to Govr. [Henry] Lee of 1st. June 1794.

“Orders from the former to Lt. Vaughan 7th, April 1794.” (LC, RG 59, Domestic Letters of the Department of State, Vol. 8, December 6, 1794–October 12, 1795, National Archives.)

On February 16, 1795, Randolph wrote to Oliver Wolcott, Jr: “Let me beg the favor of you to take some immediate and definitive arrangements respecting the pilot-boat, upon which your Predecessor wrote to General Matthews on the 5th. Ultimo, and General Matthews replied to him on the 20th. of the same month. The boat is perishing; and whether she is to be returned to her former owner, or to fall on the hands of the United States, the sooner she is dispatched the better for both” (LC, RG 59, Domestic Letters of the Department of State, Vol. 8, December 6, 1794–October 12, 1795, National Archives).

H’s letter to Matthews of January 5, 1795, and Matthew’s letter to H of January 20, 1795, have not been found.

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