Alexander Hamilton Papers
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From Alexander Hamilton to William Short, [3 July 1804]

To William Short1

[New York, July 3, 1804]

General Hamilton waited on Mr. Short to pay his respects & to request the pleasure of his Company at a Family Dinner2 in the Country on Saturday next three oClock.3

ALS, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

1Short, who had been Thomas Jefferson’s secretary when Jefferson was Minister to France during the Confederation period, became chargé d’affaires at Paris in 1789. In 1792 he was appointed United States Minister at The Hague, and the following year he went to Madrid to assist in negotiating a treaty between the United States and Spain. Short was responsible for negotiating the Dutch loans to the United States. In 1802 he returned to the United States.

2H’s other guests were William S. and Abigail Smith, John Adams’s son-in-law and daughter, and John Trumbull, the painter (Hamilton, History description begins John C. Hamilton, Life of Alexander Hamilton, a History of the Republic of the United States of America (Boston, 1879). description ends , VII, 822).

3An undated memorandum in the handwriting of James Wilkinson reads: “Gen. James Ross of Lancaster dined with Genl. Hamilton in NYork July 3d. 1804. and was told by Gl. H. that He expected an affair with Col. B. & that he should avoid it by every means in his power, but if he was pressed must fight—or words to this Effect. so you see Gl. H. had confidants as well as Col. B. but I suppose that what is sinful in one may be honorable in the other” (AD, James Biddle Collection of the Biddle Family Papers, Andalusia, Pennsylvania).

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