Alexander Hamilton Papers
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To Alexander Hamilton from William Jackson, 7 August 1797

From William Jackson1

Philadelphia, August 7. 1797

Dear Hamilton,

I have informed Mr. Dawson,2 who called on me yesterday, on the part of Mr. Monroe, that, as you had expressly told Mr. M in one of your letters, that you thought the motives of his conduct towards you had been “malignant and dishonorable,”3 I had advised you against throwing the affair into a more formal challenge, it resting, in my opinion, with Mr. Monroe either to submit to, or to resent these expressions.4

I am always   Your faithful affectionate friend

W Jackson

This letter has been shewn to Mr. Dawson.

W. J.

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1For background to this letter, see the introductory note to Oliver Wolcott, Jr., to H, July 3, 1797; Jackson to H, July 24, 25, 31, August 5, 1797.

4Dawson’s account of this interview with Jackson is dated August 17, 1797, and reads: “On the morning of sunday the   th Int I called on Majr. Jackson, at the request of Colo Monroe, & shewd to him a letter which Colo Monroe had written to Hamilton, in answer to one which he had received on the day before by Mjr. Jackson.

“I then askd him, whether he considerd the letter from Colo Hamilton as a challenge—he said he did not, but as a declaration of his readiness to accept one—I then informd him that it was not Colo Monroe’s intention to c[h]allenge, but to accept one, whenever Colo Hamilton shoud think proper to give one, as he coud give no certificate different from those he had already of which Colo Hamilton complained.

“On the next evening Majr. Jackson called on me, & said he had calld in the forenoon when I was out—he then shewd me a short letter which he had written to Colo Hamilton, stating as his opinion, that it was not incumbent on him to give a challenge to Colo Monroe, on what had passd between them.

“These are the material points in the interviews between Majr. Jackson & my self, as far as I recollect. Colo Ms letter to Colo H. alluded to above went by mondays mail.” (ADS, Lloyd W. Smith Collection, Morristown National Historical Park, Morristown, New Jersey.)

On the back of Dawson’s statement Monroe wrote: “in a case in wh. you compld. of an injury, however unjustly, I of none, it wod. have been improper for me to do so. Tis possible.”

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