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To Alexander Hamilton from Oliver Wolcott, Junior, [3 July 1797]

From Oliver Wolcott, Junior

Phila. July 3d. 1797

Dear Sir

I inclose you the pamphlet. You will see that the subject is but partially represented with a design to establish an opinion that you was concerned in speculations in the public funds. As my name is mentioned I have been repeatedly called on for explanations. What I have said is substantially as follows. That I was informed at the time, of the whole transaction, & that though Munroe Muhlenburgh & Venable at first represented the affair as connected with Speculation in the funds, yet an explanation took place in my presence when each of the Gentlemen acknowledged themselves perfectly satisfied, & that there was nothing in the affair which could or ought to affect your character as a public Officer or impair the public confidence in your integrity. I have also mentioned that no publication could have been made without a breach of confidence pledged in my presence by the Gentlemen above named. Mr. Venable I am told speaks of the publication as false & dishonourable.

I have good reason to believe that Beckley is the real author,83 though it is attributed to Calender.

You will judge for yourself, but in my opinion it will be best to write nothing at least for the present.

It is false that Duer had any hand in the transaction—the Lists are in my hands, with a Letter from Clingman & Reynolds, the Clerk who furnished the Lists was notified of the discovery by me & dismissed—his name has been hitherto concealed: I think you may be certain that your character is not affected, in point of integrity & official conduct. The indignation against those who have basely published this scandal, is I believe universal. If you determine to notice the affair, & I can assist you you may command me, but I doubt the expediency.

The faction is organized, public business is at a stand, and a crisis is approaching.

Yrs truly

Oliv Wolcott Jr

A Hamilton Esq

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1Callender, a native of Scotland, fled to the United States after he was indicted for sedition in January, 1793, because of his pamphlet The political progress of Britain; or, An impartial account of the principal abuses in the government of the Country, From the Revolution in 1688; the whole tending to prove the ruinous consequences of the popular system of war and conquest … Part I (London: Printed for T. Kay, 1792). Until the spring of 1796, he reported on congressional debates for The Philadelphia Gazette and Universal Daily Advertiser.

Callender’s charges against H appeared in pamphlets numbered V and VI, which were part of a series of tracts that were subsequently published in book form under the title The History of the United States for 1796; Including a Variety of Interesting Particulars Relative to the Federal Government Previous to That Period (Philadelphia: Snowden and McCorkle, 1797). The preface to Callender’s History is dated July 19, and the charges against H are in chapters VI and VII.

It should perhaps also be pointed out that on January 19, 1797, Callender had published the American Annual Register, or Historical Memoirs of the United States, for the Year 1796 (Philadelphia: Bioren and Madan). This earlier version of Callender’s history does not include any references to the “Reynolds Affair.”

Callender’s series of pamphlets present several problems which historians either have ignored or have been unable to solve. In the first place, no copies of these pamphlets have been found, and scholars who have written about the “Reynolds Affair” have without exception used Callender’s History, rather than his pamphlets, as their source for Callender’s charges against H. See, for example, Mitchell, Hamilton description begins Broadus Mitchell, Alexander Hamilton (New York, 1957–1962). description ends , II, 706, note 24; Boyd, Papers of Thomas Jefferson description begins Julian P. Boyd, ed., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson (Princeton, 1950– ). description ends , XVIII, 631, note 62, 646; Harry Ammon, James Monroe: The Quest for National Identity (New York, 1971), 606, note 7; Nathan Schachner, Alexander Hamilton (New York, 1946), 369; Jonathan Daniels, Ordeal of Ambition: Jefferson, Hamilton, Burr (New York, 1970), 164; W. P. Cresson, James Monroe (Chapel Hill, 1946), 161.

Because no copies of Callender’s pamphlets have been found, it is impossible to determine with certainty either the number of pamphlets in the series or the dates on which they were published. Mitchell states that “the tracts first appeared in eight weekly numbers” and that pamphlet “V came out June 26, VI, July 4” (Mitchell, Hamilton description begins Broadus Mitchell, Alexander Hamilton (New York, 1957–1962). description ends , II, 706, note 24). Mitchell’s source for this information is Charles Evans, ed., American Bibliography: A Chronological Dictionary of All Books, Pamphlets and Periodical Publications Printed in the United States from the Genesis of Printing in 1639 down to and Including the Year 1820 (Chicago, 1931), XI, 159. Evans, however, does not give dates for the publication of each pamphlet, and the evidence is clear that he never saw the pamphlets in question. Boyd, without giving a source, asserts that “No. V … appeared late in June, 1797” and No. VI on July 4 (Papers of Thomas Jefferson, XVIII, 646).

Pamphlet No. V can be dated by an advertisement in the [Philadelphia] Aurora. General Advertiser, June 24, 1797, which reads: “On Monday next [June 26] will be published … No. V, of the History of the United States for 1796 &c.” All that can be said with certainty concerning the publication date of pamphlet No. VI is that it appeared before July 7, for on that date Wolcott wrote to H: “I send you the residue of the pamph[l]et.”

Finally, the confusion concerning Callender’s pamphlets is compounded by the fact that the chapters in Callender’s History were not divided in the same fashion as his pamphlets had been. On July 8, 1797, H wrote to James Monroe: “I request to be informed whether the paper numbered V [i.e., document No. V in Callender’s History and not to be confused with Callender’s pamphlet No. V mentioned above] dated Philadelphia the 15 of December 1792 published partly in the fifth and partly in the sixth number of ‘The History of the United States for 1796’ … is the copy of a genuine original.” In Callender’s History all of document No. V appears in chapter VI. Without the original pamphlets, it is impossible to determine if there are any other significant differences between the pamphlets and the History.

2The “Reynolds Pamphlet” description begins Alexander Hamilton, Observations on Certain Documents Contained in No. V and VI of “The History of the United States for the Year 1796,” in which the Charge of Speculation against Alexander Hamilton, Late Secretary of the Treasury, is Fully Refuted. Written by Himself (Philadelphia: Printed for John Fenno, by John Bioren, 1797). description ends was published on August 25, 1797, under the title of Observations on Certain Documents Contained in No. V & VI of “The History of the United States for the Year 1796,” In Which the Charge of Speculation Against Alexander Hamilton, Late Secretary of the Treasury, is Fully Refuted. Written by Himself (Philadelphia: Printed for John Fenno, by John Bioren, 1797).

There is also a draft of this pamphlet in the Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress. Both the draft and the printed version of this document are printed below under the date of August 25, 1797.

Immediately following the publication of the “Reynolds Pamphlet,” description begins Alexander Hamilton, Observations on Certain Documents Contained in No. V and VI of “The History of the United States for the Year 1796,” in which the Charge of Speculation against Alexander Hamilton, Late Secretary of the Treasury, is Fully Refuted. Written by Himself (Philadelphia: Printed for John Fenno, by John Bioren, 1797). description ends Callender publicly challenged the authenticity of H’s defense in Sketches of the History of America (Philadelphia: Snowden and McCorkle, 1798).

3For information of this phase of the “Reynolds Affair,” see James Reynolds to H, December 15, 17, 19, 22, 1791, January 3, 17, March 24, April 3, 7, 17, 23, May 2, June 3–22, 23, 24, August 24, November 13–15, December 12, 1792; H to James Reynolds, December 15, 1791, April 7, June 3–22, 24, 1792; Maria Reynolds to H, December 15, 1791, January 23–March 18 (three letters), March 24, June 2, 1792; H to Maria Reynolds, December 6, 1792; H to ——, December 18, 1791.

4“Draft of the Reynolds Pamphlet,” August 25, 1797. In the printed version of the “Reynolds Pamphlet,” August 25, 1797, Maria Reynolds is identified as the “sister of Mr. G. Livingston,” which is also correct as the word “sister” in the seventeen-nineties could also mean “sister-in-law.”

5Wadsworth to H, August 2, 1797. Lewis DuBois was a colonel in the Fifth New York Regiment during the American Revolution, and from 1787 to 1793 he was brigadier general of the Dutchess County militia. He was sheriff of Dutchess County from 1781 to 1785 and represented the county in the state Assembly in 1786 and 1787.

6See “Lewis Family Bible,” Dutchess County Historical Society Year Book, XXIX (1944), 93; J. Wilson Poucher, “Dutchess County Men of the Revolutionary Period: Colonel Lewis DuBois—Captain Henry DuBois,” Dutchess County Historical Society Year Book, XX (1935), 71–85; Florence Van Rensselaer, ed., The Livingston Family in America and Its Scottish Origins (New York, 1949), 107. For information on the later life of Susan Reynolds, see the MS “Memoir of Peter A. Grotjan, written late in life” in the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

7David and Mary Reynolds had six children: James, Joseph, Elizabeth, Henry, Reuben, and Sarah (Draft Deposition of William W. Thompson, March 27, 1802 [Chancery Papers, BM-474-R, Hall of Records, New York City]; Draft Deposition of Isaac Van Duzor, Jr., December 18, 1802 [Chancery Papers, BM-474-R, Hall of Records, New York City]). Thompson, who was a farmer in Goshen, Orange County, New York, had been sheriff of Orange County from 1781 to 1785. Van Duzor was a farmer in Cornwall, Orange County.

8See Royal Flint, an assistant commissary of purchases, to David Reynolds, July 30, August 22, September 8, 1778 (LC, Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford); Reynolds to James Monell, an assistant commissary of purchases, August 28, 1779 (ALS, Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford); Reynolds to Wadsworth, June 19, November 7, 1779 (ALS, Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford); Reynolds to Wadsworth, July 19, 1780 (LS, Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford); Wadsworth to Reynolds, September 26, November 21, December 4, 1779 (LC, Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford); Affidavit of James Mathews, October 23, 1779 (DS, Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford); Reynolds to Flint, January 13, 1780 (LS, Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford).

9David Reynolds to Wadsworth, April 7, 1783 (ALS, Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford). The MS Minutes of the New York Supreme Court for 1781, 1782, and 1783 contain numerous entries for suits involving Reynolds and his creditors (Hall of Records, New York City).

On April 4, 1786, the Continental Congress received the following memorial from David Reynolds: “That your Memorialist in the year 1777 was appointed one of the Commissary’s of Purchases for the Continental Army.

“That your Memorialist continued in said office purchasing ’till 1779 & 1780 when his credit fail’d as Assist. Commy. of purchases in behalf of the United States arising from a want of Cash which renderd him unable to discharge the debts he had contracted with sundry persons who had lost their confidence in public credit.

“That your Memorialist humbly begs leave to inform that in consequence of the most pressing exigencies of the Troops and the repeated Assurances of receiving Cash (daily in expectation) sufficient to discharge the Amount of such Contracts for provisions &c as he unavoidable must procure; was induced to give his own private notes of hand for such supplies as there was no other means whereby they cou’d be obtain’d.

“That your Memorialist being disappointed in the arrival (or rect.) of Cash for discharging of said notes of hand, Suits were in consequence brought against him in the Supreme Court of said state, for said notes respectively.

“That your Memorialist employ’d an Attorney to defend the said Suits, but as he had no real defence to make final Judgments were enter’d in the said suits, and thereupon Executions were Issued against all the real and personal estate of your memorialist which was shortly afterwards sold at public Vendue very much below its real value, and the neat proceeds of the said sale were wholly apply’d to satisfy the said Judgments.

“That your Memorialist further begs leave to inform that he has obtained a final settlement with the Commissioners upon which there is due him a sum sufficient (if realised) to enable him to redeem a part of the lands which was sold by Executions as aforesaid.

“That your Memorialist has produced the most satisfactory voucher upon settlement to the Commissioners to shew that the Articles (for which his lands and tenements were sold by Execution) was deliver’d for the use of the Army.

“That your Memorialist by the sale of his real and personal Estate as aforesaid finds himself with a Wife and numerous family of Children reduced to the greatest distress and indigence.” (DS, Papers of the Continental Congress, National Archives; JCC description begins Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (Washington, 1904–1937). description ends , XXX, 151, note 1.) The memorial was referred to the Board of Treasury, which on May 10, 1787, reported that Reynolds’s memorial “cannot be complied with” (JCC description begins Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (Washington, 1904–1937). description ends , XXX, 250). For the subsequent efforts of Jacob Cuyler, deputy commissary general of purchases during the American Revolution, “to be relieved from a demand brought against him by David Reynolds … for one hundred and fourteen head of Cattle said to have been delivered by said Reynolds for the use of the Army and not charged in his accounts against the United States,” see JCC description begins Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (Washington, 1904–1937). description ends , XXXI, 736–37; XXXIV, 526.

In 1796 H was retained by one of the Cunninghams (Abner, Obadiah, Andrew, or Charles) in a suit initiated by Reuben Reynolds, James Reynolds’s brother. Reuben wished to regain possession of a tract of land in Cornwall which his deceased father had mortgaged in 1776 for a debt to Sheffield Howard (Bill, filed February 7, 1801 [Chancery Papers, BM-452-R, Hall of Records, New York City]). In 1783 David Currie, as the New York representative of the Connecticut mercantile firm of Barnabas Deane and Jeremiah Wadsworth, successfully brought suits against David and James Reynolds for nonpayment of debts (Judgment Roll, filed February 14, 1783 [Parchment 95-A-1, Hall of Records, New York City]; Judgment Roll, filed September 15, 1783 [Parchment 94-K-5, Hall of Records, New York City]; Judgment Roll, September 15, 1783 [Parchment 105-E-3, Hall of Records, New York City]). On May 20, 1796, Wadsworth, as the sole surviving partner of the firm of Deane and Wadsworth, transferred to Reuben Reynolds the balance due on these debts, and Margaret Currie, David Currie’s widow, then “transferred … to the said Reuben all and singular the Monies Still due on the aforesaid Judgments” (Bill, filed February 7, 1801 [Chancery Papers, BM-452-R, Hall of Records, New York City]). After Margaret Currie revived the two suits against David and James Reynolds (Judgment, February 28, 1797 [Parchment 94-E-4, Hall of Records, New York City]), Reuben “caused a Certain Writ of Fieri Facias to be issued upon the said Judgment directed to the Sheriff of the County of Orange, for the purpose of levying on and selling the Lands and Tenements of the said David Reynolds and Whereof he died seized, for the purpose of Satisfying the said Judgment” (Bill, filed February 7, 1801 [Chancery Papers, BM-452-R, Hall of Records, New York City]). In the meantime, Samuel Sands had bought the land in Cornwall from the legal representatives of the now deceased Sheffield Howard, and Sands sold the land to Abner Cunningham in 1792. The Cunninghams conveyed the land in 1795 to George Brown, who, in turn, conveyed it to Isaac Tobias in 1799 (Answer, filed May 14, 1801 [Chancery Papers, BM-452-R, Hall of Records, New York City]). In connection with this case, H made the following entries in his Law Register, 1795–1804:

“James Reynolds } Scire Facias
 Adsm [Nicholas] Evertson for Plaintiff
Margaret Currie Retained by one
Administratrix of Cunningham
David Currie 15 Ds

November 3 Notice of appearance

Abner Cunningham } Same parties as above
Obadiah Cunningham
Andrew Cunningham
Charles Cunningham
 Adsm
George Brown”

(AD, partially in H’s handwriting, New York Law Institute, New York City). See also “Narrative of Margaret Currie, Administratrix of David Currie vs. George Brown,” October 29, 1796 (DS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress).

In 1801 the suit was taken to the New York Court of Chancery as Reuben Reynolds v Isaac Tobias, and H entered in his Law Register, 1795–1804:

“Tobias } of Counsel
 Adsm with [Samuel] Jones
Reynolds in Chancery

retainer 35 Ds” (AD, partially in H’s handwriting, New York Law Institute, New York City).

The editors are indebted to Miss Betty J. Thomas, associate editor of The Law Practice of Alexander Hamilton, for the above information.

On January 20, 1842, the following entry appears in the Journal of the House: “Mr. [James G.] Clinton presented a memorial of David Reynolds, late assistant commissary of purchases for the United States army, setting forth that he did, during the revolutionary war, furnish supplies to the army of the United States, for which he has never received any compensation; and that he was subsequently arrested by each of the persons of whom he purchased such supplies, and judgment obtained against him, almost to his total ruin. He now prays relief in the premises.” This memorial was referred to the Committee on Revolutionary Claims (Journal of the House description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States (Washington, 1826). description ends , 27th Cong., 2nd Sess. [Washington, 1841], 236–37). On May 29, 1844, Joseph Vance of Ohio presented “a petition of the heirs of David Reynolds, deceased, of the State of New York, an officer in the war of the Revolution, for the payment of their claim for his services.” This petition was also referred to the Committee on Revolutionary Claims (Journal of the House description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States (Washington, 1826). description ends , 28th Cong., 1st Sess. [Washington, 1844], 983).

10Copy, RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters, January 1–December 29, 1789, National Archives. The petition included a postscript in William Malcom’s handwriting which reads: “We are well acquainted with the petitioner and recommend him as an honest industrious man, well Qualifyed for the office which he Sollicits.” This testimonial is signed by Malcom, Hendrick Wyckoff, and John Blagge, New York City merchants; Robert Troup, a New York City attorney and close friend of H; and Robert Boyd, the sheriff of New York City and County.

Boyd reads Malcom’s name as “Alwen” (Papers of Thomas Jefferson, XVIII, 627, note 53).

11Journal of the House description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States (Washington, 1826). description ends , I, 217–18. For these resolutions, see H to Washington, May 28, 1790, note 2.

13For a detailed analysis of this controversy, see Boyd, Papers of Thomas Jefferson description begins Julian P. Boyd, ed., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson (Princeton, 1950– ). description ends , XVI, 455–70; XVIII, 211–25. Boyd also states that in the Glaubeck affair H failed to understand “the impropriety of acting officially for friends …” (Papers of Thomas Jefferson, XVIII, 686–87, note 203). For information on Baron de Glaubeck and Andrew G. Fraunces, see the introductory note to Fraunces to H, May 16, 1793.

14Commonwealth v James Reynolds and Jacob Clingman. Reynolds and Clingman were “Charged with having Employed, Aided and abbetted a certain John Delabar to defraud the United States of a Sum of money value near Four hundred Dollars, and having Suborned the said Delabar to commit a wilful and corrupt Perjury before George Campbell Esq register for the probate of wills and Granting Letters of Administration &Ca.” (Mayor’s Court Docket, 1792–1796, 71, Philadelphia City Archives; Inspectors of the County Prison, Prisoners for Trial Docket, 1790–1797, 113, Philadelphia City Archives). On November 16, 1792, Clingman was released on bail (Inspectors of the County Prison, Prisoners for Trial Docket, 1790–1797, 113, Philadelphia City Archives).

15Commonwealth v John Delabar. Delabar was “Charged with having been Guilty of willful and Corrupt Perjury, and having defrauded the United States of a Sum of Money of near Four Hundred Dollars” (Mayor’s Court Docket, 1792–1796, 71, Philadelphia City Archives; Inspectors of the County Prison, Prisoners for Trial Docket, 1790–1797, 113, Philadelphia City Archives).

Delabar’s trial, which was originally set for December 17, 1792, was rescheduled for the next session of the Mayor’s Court (Inspectors of the County Prison, Prisoners for Trial Docket, 1790–1797, 113, Philadelphia City Archives). On November 19, Wolcott wrote to Samuel Emery, Goodenough’s agent, “to take measures for producing the said Goodenough and some person to whom he is known” (copy, Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford). On March 7, 1793, Levi Holden received payment “for his and Ephraim Goodenough’s expences coming from Boston to Philadelphia, at the request of the Comptroller of the Treasury as witnesses in a suit instituted by the United States against Delabar and returning” (RG 217, Miscellaneous Treasury Accounts, 1790–1894, Account No. 3946, National Archives). Although the suits against Reynolds and Clingman were dismissed on December 12, 1792, Reynolds was “to be sent to the Debtors Jail when discharged from this Suit 13/0 pd.,” and Delabar remained in prison until April 1, 1793 (Inspectors of the County Prison, Prisoners for Trial Docket, 1790–1797, 113, Philadelphia City Archives).

16See Wolcott’s deposition, July 12, 1797, which is document No. XXIV in the appendix to the printed version of the “Reynolds Pamphlet,” August 25, 1797.

17See Wolcott’s deposition, July 12, 1797, which is document No. XXIV in the appendix to the printed version of the “Reynolds Pamphlet,” August 25, 1797

18Pennsylvania Archives, 9th Sess., I (n.p., 1931), 491.

19Inspectors of the County Prison, Prisoners for Trial Docket, 1790–1797, 113, Philadelphia City Archives.

20See Wolcott’s deposition, July 12, 1797, which is document No. XXIV in the appendix to the printed version of the “Reynolds Pamphlet,” August 25, 1797. See also Reynolds to H, November 13–15, 1792.

21See “Reynolds Pamphlet,” August 25, 1797; Callender, History description begins James Thompson Callender, The History of the United States for 1796; Including a Variety of Interesting Particulars Relative to the Federal Government Previous to That Period (Philadelphia: Snowden and McCorkle, 1797). description ends , 213, 216, 218.

Duer, a prominent New York City businessman and speculator, was a director of the Society for Establishing Useful Manufactures from its inception in 1791 until the collapse of his financial affairs in 1792. On March 23, 1792, Duer was imprisoned for debt, and except for a brief period in 1797, he remained in prison until his death on May 7, 1799.

Although Duer may have supplied Vredenburgh with lists of arrears of pay due to soldiers and officers in Virginia and North Carolina in 1790, the clerk who supplied Reynolds and Clingman with the lists of creditors of the United States was probably Simeon Reynolds. See note 24.

22Wolcott’s deposition, July 12, 1797, which is document No. XXIV in the appendix to the printed version of the “Reynolds Pamphlet,” August 25, 1797.

23Callender, Sketches, 101.

24Papers of Thomas Jefferson, XVIII, 656–57. Simeon Reynolds was a clerk in the office of Joseph Nourse, the register of the Treasury, from January 1, 1791, to December 17, 1792 (RG 217, Miscellaneous Treasury Accounts, 1790–1894, Account Nos. 1129, 3420, National Archives).

25See Muhlenberg’s statement of December 13, 1792, which is document No. I (a) in the appendix to the printed version of the “Reynolds Pamphlet,” August 25, 1797.

26See Muhlenberg’s statement of December 13, 1792, which is document No. I (a) in the appendix to the printed version of the “Reynolds Pamphlet,” August 25, 1797.

27For an account of this meeting, see the statement by Monroe and Venable, dated December 13, 1792, which is document No. II (a) in the appendix to the printed version of the “Reynolds Pamphlet,” August 25, 1797.

28See the statement by Monroe and Muhlenberg, dated December 13, 1792, which is document No. III (a) in the appendix to the printed version of the “Reynolds Pamphlet,” August 25, 1797. See also Clingman’s statement of December 13, 1792, which is document No. IV (a) in the appendix to the printed version of the “Reynolds Pamphlet,” August 25, 1797.

29Muhlenberg, Monroe, and Venable prepared the following letter to George Washington, dated December 13, 1792: “We think proper to lay before you, some documents respecting the conduct of Colo. Hamilton, in the Office of Secretary of the Treasury. The inclosed will explain to you the particulars, and likewise how they came to our knowledge. They appeared to us to be of such importance, as to merit our attention, and in further pursuit of the object, that the proper course was, to submit the whole to your inspection.

“What we have stated of our own knowledge, we are willing to depose on oath. We think proper, however, to observe, that we do not consider ourselves, as prosecutors, but as only communicating, for his information, to the Chief Magistrate, intelligence, it highly imports him to know. We were, however, unwilling to take this step without communicating it to the Gentleman, whom it concerns, that he might make the explanation, he has it in his power to give; we, therefore, informed Mr. Hamilton of the step we now take.

“You will readily perceive, that light might have been thrown on this subject, by the several public officers, who have had any part in the transactions of the prosecution and enlargement of Reynolds. But as we apprehended, an application to these parties might contribute to make the subject public, which, in tenderness to the person interested, we wished to avoid, on that account, we declined it.” (Copy, The Library, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.)

No evidence has been found that this letter was ever sent to Washington.

31Clingman stated that at a meeting with H and Wolcott on December 14 “he was strictly examined by both, respecting the persons, who were enquiring into the matter, and their object; that he told Mr. Hamilton, he had been possessed of his notes to Reynolds, and had given them up to these gentlemen …” (Clingman’s statement, December 15, 1792 [copy, The Library, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania]). H, however, wrote that after his first interview with Muhlenberg, Monroe, and Venable on December 15, 1792, he met with Wolcott “and for the first time informed him of the affair and of the interview just had; and delivering into his hands for perusal the documents of which I was possessed, I engaged him to be present at the intended explanation in the evening” (“Reynolds Pamphlet,” August 25, 1797).

Unless H meant that December 15 was the first time he informed Wolcott of his relationship with Maria Reynolds, his statement cannot be reconciled with Clingman’s.

32The “incriminating documents” were H to James Reynolds, April 7, June 3–22, 24, 1792; Reynolds to Clingman, December 13, 1792; Wolcott to Clingman, December 13, 1792; and two undated letters (Callender, History description begins James Thompson Callender, The History of the United States for 1796; Including a Variety of Interesting Particulars Relative to the Federal Government Previous to That Period (Philadelphia: Snowden and McCorkle, 1797). description ends , 218–23). The first undated letter, which is from H to James Reynolds, reads: “My dear Sir, I expected to have heard the day after I had the pleasure of seeing you” (“Reynolds Pamphlet,” August 25, 1797). The second undated letter, which is from H to Maria Reynolds, reads: “That person Mr. Reynolds inquired for on Friday waited for him all the evening at his house from a little after seven. Mr. R. may see him at any time to-day or to-morrow between the hours of two and three” (“Reynolds Pamphlet,” August 25, 1797). H also received copies of the four depositions which form documents I (a)–IV (a) in the appendix to the printed version of the “Reynolds Pamphlet,” August 25, 1797 (Callender, History description begins James Thompson Callender, The History of the United States for 1796; Including a Variety of Interesting Particulars Relative to the Federal Government Previous to That Period (Philadelphia: Snowden and McCorkle, 1797). description ends , 209–18).

34“Reynolds Pamphlet,” August 25, 1797. See also Wolcott’s deposition, July 12, 1797, which is document No. XXIV in the appendix to the printed version of the “Reynolds Pamphlet,” August 25, 1797.

35For Callender’s publications, see note 1.

36Callender, History description begins James Thompson Callender, The History of the United States for 1796; Including a Variety of Interesting Particulars Relative to the Federal Government Previous to That Period (Philadelphia: Snowden and McCorkle, 1797). description ends , 204–05.

37Callender, History description begins James Thompson Callender, The History of the United States for 1796; Including a Variety of Interesting Particulars Relative to the Federal Government Previous to That Period (Philadelphia: Snowden and McCorkle, 1797). description ends , 206.

38Callender, History description begins James Thompson Callender, The History of the United States for 1796; Including a Variety of Interesting Particulars Relative to the Federal Government Previous to That Period (Philadelphia: Snowden and McCorkle, 1797). description ends , 228.

39Callender, History description begins James Thompson Callender, The History of the United States for 1796; Including a Variety of Interesting Particulars Relative to the Federal Government Previous to That Period (Philadelphia: Snowden and McCorkle, 1797). description ends , 231.

40Callender printed all the documents cited in notes 32, 50, and 51. He also printed H to Monroe, Muhlenberg, and Venable, December [17], 1792 (Callender, History description begins James Thompson Callender, The History of the United States for 1796; Including a Variety of Interesting Particulars Relative to the Federal Government Previous to That Period (Philadelphia: Snowden and McCorkle, 1797). description ends , 209–24).

41King, The Life and Correspondence of Rufus King description begins Charles R. King, ed., The Life and Correspondence of Rufus King (New York, 1894–1900). description ends , II, 193.

42Callender, History description begins James Thompson Callender, The History of the United States for 1796; Including a Variety of Interesting Particulars Relative to the Federal Government Previous to That Period (Philadelphia: Snowden and McCorkle, 1797). description ends , viii.

43ADfS, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; ADf, Lloyd W. Smith Collection, Morristown National Historical Park, Morristown, New Jersey. The unsigned draft does not include the postscript quoted above.

44On July 9, 1797, Venable wrote to H: “I had nothing to do with the transaction since the interview with you, I do not possess a copy of the papers at present, nor have I at any time had the possession of any of them, I avoided taking a copy because I feared that the greatest care which I could exercise in keeping them safely might be defeated by some accident and that some person or other might improperly obtain an inspection of them.” The next day, Muhlenberg wrote to H in a similar fashion: “… I lament the publication of the papers respecting the Affair of Reynolds (of which I hope I need not assure you that I had neither Knowledge or Agency, for I never saw them since the Affair took place, nor was I ever furnished with a copy).…”

46Richard Hildreth, The History of the United States of America (Reprinted: New York, 1969), V, 111.

47W. P. Cresson, James Monroe (Chapel Hill, 1946), 162.

48Callender, Sketches, 102.

49Boyd, Papers of Thomas Jefferson description begins Julian P. Boyd, ed., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson (Princeton, 1950– ). description ends , XVIII, 649, and note 104.

After Jefferson became President, he told William A. Burwell, his private secretary, that “the affair [between Jefferson and Betsey Moore Walker] had long been known, & that Hamilton about the time he was attackd for his conniction Mrs. Reynolds had threatend him—with a public disclosure” (MS Memoir of William A. Burwell, Library of Congress).

50D, in Monroe’s handwriting, The Library, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. See also James Reynolds to H, November 13–15, 1792, note 1.

The memorandum of December 16 reads in full: “16th. Last night we waited on Colo. H when he informed us of a particular connection with Mrs. R—— the period of its commencement & circumstances attending it, his visiting her at Inskeep’s—the frequent supplies of money to her & her husband on that acct.—his duress by them from the fear of a disclosure & his anxiety to be relieved from it and them. To support this, he shewed a great number of letters from Reynolds & herself—commencing early in 1791. He acknowledged all the letters in a disguised hand, in our possession, to be his. We left him under an impression our suspicions were removed. He acknowledged our conduct toward him had been fair & liberal—he could not complain of it. We brot. back all the papers even his own notes, nor did he ask their destruction.

“He said, the dismission of the prosecution agnst. the parties Reynolds & Mr. Clingman had been in consideration of the surrender of a list of pay improperly obtaind from his office, and by means of a person who had it not in his power now to injure the department—intimating he meant Mr. Duer—That he obtained this information from Reynolds.

“Owned that he had recd a note from Reynolds in the night at the time stated in Mr Clingmans paper, & that he had likewise seen him in the morning following.

“Sd. he never had seen Reynolds before he came to this place—& that the statement in Mr. Clingman’s paper, in that respect, was correct.”

51AD, The Library, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. This manuscript is the third part of a document which Callender printed in full as document No. V in his History. The first part was the statement of December 15, 1792, which Clingman made to Muhlenberg, Monroe, and Venable and which is in the handwriting of Beckley’s clerk, Bernard Webb. The second is the document cited in note 50. In discussing these documents, Boyd wrote: “… It is important to note that Callender’s text appended the names of the three Congressmen to the second part and that of Monroe alone to the third part, a clerical insertion that almost led to a duel because it gave Hamilton the opportunity to focus his attack on Monroe. There are neither signatures nor initials appended to any part of the original manuscript of No. 5. Hamilton may have been shown the first part of No. 5 in 1792, but he did not see the second and third parts until Callender published them in 1797” (Papers of Thomas Jefferson, XVIII, 631, note 62). Monroe, however, clearly states in part two that “Last night we waited on Colo. H,” while in part three he wrote: “Mr. Clingman called on me this evening.” Clingman’s meeting of January 2, 1793, was clearly with Monroe alone.

52Monroe, who had been United States Minister Plenipotentiary to France, had been recalled on August 22, 1796 (Timothy Pickering to Monroe, August 22, 1796 [copy, Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston]). He arrived in Philadelphia on June 27, 1797.

54AL, James Madison Papers, Library of Congress.

55See Monroe to H, December 2, 1797.

Burr, who had been United States Senator from New York from March 4, 1791, to March 3, 1797, had been elected in the spring of 1797 to the New York Assembly, which met in January, 1798.

Dawson, a graduate of Harvard, had been a member of the Continental Congress in 1788 and 1789 and a delegate to the Virginia Ratifying Convention; he was a Democratic-Republican member of the House of Representatives from Virginia from March 4, 1797, until his death in 1814.

56H to Monroe, January, 1798.

For the correspondence relating to the dispute between H and Monroe, see Monroe to H, July 10, 16, 17, 18, 21, 25, 31, August 6, 1797; H to Monroe, July 10, 17, 18, 20, 22, 28, August 4, 9, 1797; William Jackson to H, July 24, 25, 31, August 5, 7 (two letters), 11, 1797; James McHenry to H, August 7, 1797; “David Gelston’s Account of an Interview between Alexander Hamilton and James Monroe,” July 11, 1797; “Certificate by James Monroe,” August 16, 1797.

57See H to Fenno, July 17–22, 1797.

Although no evidence has been found that this letter was ever sent to Fenno, on July 31, 1797, the following advertisement, dated July 25, appeared in Fenno’s paper, the Gazette of the United States, and Philadelphia Daily Advertiser: “Now in the press, and soon will be published, Observations on certain documents contained in the Vth and VIth numbers of ‘The History of the United States for the year 1796,’ in which the charge of speculation against Alexander Hamilton, late Secretary of the Treasury, is fully refuted.

“written by Himself.

“This publication will present a concise statement of the base means practised by the Jacobins of the United States to asperse the characters of those persons who are considered as hostile to their disorganizing schemes. It will also contain the correspondence between Mr. Hamilton and Messrs. Monroe, Muhlenburgh and Venable, on the subject of the documents aforesaid, and a a series of letters from James Reynolds and his wife to Mr. Hamilton, proving beyond the possibility of a doubt, that the connection between him and Reynolds, was the result of a daring conspiracy on the part of the latter and his associates to extort money.”

58See Venable to H, July 9, 10, 1797; Muhlenberg to H, July 10, 1797.

59See H to Wadsworth, July 28, 1797; Wadsworth to H, August 2, 1797; Edward Jones to H, July 30, 1797; William Jackson to H, August 11, 1797.

60Gazette of the United States, and Philadelphia Daily Advertiser, August 27, 1797.

61From a Xerox copy supplied by Mr. Julian P. Boyd.

62ALS, James Madison Papers, Library of Congress.

63September 28, 1797 (ALS, Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Library of Congress).

64See the statement of Mary Williams, July 21, 1797, which is document No. XLI in the appendix to the printed version of the “Reynolds Pamphlet,” August 25, 1797. According to William Loughton Smith, H “… lodged with me at Williams’s when he was writing his Vindication & I left him in the midst of his corresponde. with Monroe in July last” (Smith to Rufus King, December 14, 1797 [ALS, Mr. Hall Park McCullough, North Bennington, Vermont]). Mary Williams’s boardinghouse was at 104 Spruce Street (Cornelius William Stafford, The Philadelphia Directory for 1797 [Philadelphia: William W. Woodward, 1797], 196).

65Callender, Sketches, 98–99, 107.

66Bill, filed May 14, 1793, Mary Reynolds v James W. Reynolds (Chancery Decrees Before 1800, R-112, Clerk of the Court of Appeals, Albany, on deposit at Queens College, New York City).

On August 6 the case was brought up in the New York Supreme Court where “The Jury without going from the Bar Say that they find for the plaintiff Three hundred pounds damages and Six pence Costs” (MS Minutes of the New York Supreme Court, July-October, 1793 [Hall of Records, New York City]).

67Decree, February 13, 1795, Mary Reynolds v James W. Reynolds (Chancery Decrees Before 1800, R-12, Clerk of the Court of Appeals, Albany, on deposit at Queens College, New York City).

68Beckley to——, June 22, 1793 (copy, Mr. Pierce W. Gaines, Fairfield, Connecticut). This letter is also printed in the introductory note to Andrew G. Fraunces to H, May 16, 1793. For the possibility that the unnamed addressee was James Monroe, see Boyd, Papers of Thomas Jefferson description begins Julian P. Boyd, ed., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson (Princeton, 1950– ). description ends , XVIII, 629, note 57.

69See the statement of Richard Folwell, which is printed as note 6 to Edward Jones to H, July 30, 1797. For evidence that the Clingmans moved to England, see Dorothy and Edmund Berkeley, John Beckley, Zealous Partisan in a Nation Divided (Philadelphia: Published by the American Philosophical Society, 1973), 171.

70See the memorandum by Monroe, Venable, and Muhlenberg, December 16, 1792, which is printed in note 50. See also Clingman’s deposition, December 13, 1792, which is document No. IV (a) in the appendix to the printed version of the “Reynolds Pamphlet,” August 25, 1797.

71Papers of Thomas Jefferson, XVIII, 642–43, note 89.

72Narrative and Oyer, filed October 16, 1798 (Parchment 134-K-7, Hall of Records, New York City); Warrant of Attorney, filed October 16, 1798 (Parchment 134-K-7, Hall of Records, New York City).

73Draft Deposition, May 30, 1803, Reuben Reynolds v Isaac Tobias (Chancery Papers, BM-474-R, Hall of Records, New York City). For the case of Reuben Reynolds v Isaac Tobias, see note 9.

74Callender, Sketches, 99, 107.

75Papers of Thomas Jefferson, XVIII, 682.

The awkward and incorrect spelling of words in the Reynolds letters is not necessarily proof that H forged the letters. Boyd argues that the “idiosyncratic spellings” of the letters from James Reynolds to H do not appear in either Reynolds’s application for office in 1789 (see note 10) or in Reynolds’s letter to Clingman on December 13, 1792 (Papers of Thomas Jefferson, XVIII, 681, 682). Boyd, however, is contradicting his earlier statement concerning the 1789 application: “Reynolds’ addressing the petition as he did suggests that Troup, a lawyer aware of the constitutional role of the Senate in appointments to office, may have advised him as to form. He may have even drafted it for Reynolds to copy in his own hand …” (Papers of Thomas Jefferson, XVIII, 627, note 53). In fact, Reynolds’s petition for office in 1789 is a copy in an unknown handwriting. The signature is not the same as Reynolds’s signature on a draft deposition, dated May 30, 1803, prepared for the case of Reuben Reynolds v Isaac Tobias (Chancery Papers, BM-474-R [Hall of Records, New York City]). For the case of Reynolds v. Tobias, see notes 9 and 73.

The other letter mentioned by Boyd (Reynolds to Clingman, December 13, 1792) presents a somewhat different problem. The original manuscript of this letter, which H saw (H to Muhlenberg, Monroe, and Venable, December 17, 1792; Muhlenberg to H, December 18, 1792; Monroe to H, December 20, 1792), has not been found. Boyd in effect concedes this point, for in using this letter to buttress his argument he gives as its source the printed version in Callender’s History, 220–21 (Boyd, Papers of Thomas Jefferson description begins Julian P. Boyd, ed., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson (Princeton, 1950– ). description ends , XVIII, 681, note 190).

76Wolcott’s deposition is document No. XXIV in the appendix to the printed version of the “Reynolds Pamphlet,” August 25, 1797.

78“Reynolds Pamphlet,” August 25, 1797.

For Boyd’s reading of this as “‘the gentlemen’ with whom the papers had been deposited,” see Boyd, Papers of Thomas Jefferson description begins Julian P. Boyd, ed., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson (Princeton, 1950– ). description ends , XVIII, 677, note 180.

81Mitchell, Hamilton description begins Broadus Mitchell, Alexander Hamilton (New York, 1957–1962). description ends , II, 713–14, note 93.

82Joseph Sabin et al., eds., Bibliotheca Americana: A Dictionary of Books Relating to America, from Its Discovery to the Present Time (Reprinted: Amsterdam, 1961), VIII, 28.

83On October 10, 1796, John Beckley wrote to Tench Coxe: “Enclosed are Hamilton’s precious confessions. Be pleased to preserve [862]every scrap; they are truly original and authenticated by himself” (ALS, Papers of Tench Coxe in the Coxe Family Papers at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia).

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