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The spirit of jacobinism, if not entirely a new spirit, has at least been cloathed with a more gigantic body and armed with more powerful weapons than it ever before possessed. It is perhaps not too much to say, that it threatens more extensive and complicated mischiefs to the world than have hitherto flowed from the three great scourges of mankind, War, Pestilence and Famine . To what point...
Take my ideas and weigh them of a proper course of conduct for our administration in the present juncture. You have called Congress—tis well. When the Senate meets (which I should be glad to see anticipated) send a Commission extraordinary to France. Let it consist of Jefferson or Madison Pinckney & a third very safe man, say Cabot . Proclaim a Religious solemnity to take place at the Meeting...
[ New York, March 1, 1797. ] “Having reconsidered the case of your Uncle (Wm. Beekman’s) Will with the authorities—I advise the Devisees to claim all that by the Partition became his several property & which in my former opinion with Mr. Evertson was considered as passing by his Will, not merely a proportion equal to his interest before Partition in the part which remained to him after...
The emissaries of France when driven from every other expedient for extenuating her depredations have a last refuge in the example of Great Britain. The Treatment which we receive from France (say they) is not worse than that which was received from Great Britain. If this apology were founded in fact it would still be a miserable subterfuge. For what excuse is it to France, or what consolation...
The present inimitable course of our public affairs proves me to be a very bad politician so that I am afraid to suggest any idea that occurs to me. Yet I will give over my timidity & communicate for your consideration a reverie which has struck me. It is a fact, that the resentment of the French Government is very much levelled at the actual President. A change of the person (however...
[ New York, February 23, 1797. On March 3, 1797, Morris wrote to Hamilton and referred to “Yours of the 23d.” Letter not found. ]
The Paris Accounts inform us that France has lately exercised towards Genoa an act of atrocious oppression, which is an additional and a striking indication of the domineering and predatory Spirit by which she is governed. This little Republic, whose territory scarcely extends beyond the walls of her metropolis, has been compelled, it seems, to ransom herself from the talons of France by a...
I groan My Dr. Sir at the disgraceful course of our affairs. I pity all those who are officially in their vortex. The behaviour of Congress in the present crisis is a new political phœnomenon. They must be severally arraigned before the Bar of the Public. How unfortunate that our friends suffer themselves by their passiveness to be confounded in the guilt. Yrs. truly ALS , Connecticut...
Geave me leave to recall to your recollection and acquaintance Mr. De Talon the bearer of this, who, as he informs me, goes to Europe on private business. I need not observe that he is an interesting man, as you know all his titles to the attention, which your situation will permit you to afford. You must not think, I forget you, because I do no write (for this is only my third letter). I am...
New York, February 11, 1797. “The suits against Riley as a Partner of Wetmore are expected to be matured for Trial at the ensuing Circuit Court which begins the 20th of March. I should of course want the original documents to establish the Copartnership and the original notes & acknowleged accounts to establish the respective demands of the parties. As the measures preparatory to Trial are...
If I recollect right, Chancellor Livingston while Secy for foreign Affairs reported a censure upon Our Commissioners who made the peace with G Britain for not obeying their instructions with regard to France. Will you favour me in confidence with the real state of this business? I was at the time a member of Congress. It was immediately on the arrival of the provisional articles. I trust my...
Independent of the commands of honor, the coolest calculations of interest forbid our becoming the instruments of the Ambition of France, by associating with her in the War. The question is no longer the establishment of liberty on the basis of Republican Government. This point, the enemies of France have ceased to dispute. The question now is whether she shall be aggrandized by new...
I duly received your letter of the 23 of Jany with its inclosure, for which I am much obliged to you. I have read it with great pleasure. It is a substantial satisfactory paper will do good in this Country & as to France I presume events will govern there. Is it not proper to call upon the Merchants to furnish your Department with statements & proofs of the spoliations which we have suffered...
[ New York, February 4, 1797. On February 9, 1797, Morris wrote to Hamilton : “Your favour of the 4th only reached me Yesterday.” Letter not found. ]
I have been reading the report of the Secretary of the Treasury on the subject of direct taxes. I think it does him credit. The general principles and objects are certainly good. Nor am I sure that any thing better can be done. I remember, however, that I once promised you to put in writing my ideas on the subject. I intended to have done it and communicated them to the Secretary. My hurry &...
A Million of Dollars per annum to be raised on buildings and lands on the following plan I   Upon inhabited dwelling houses thus— Upon every such house of the description and denomination of a log house at the rate of 20 Cents for each room or apartment thereof exclusive of Garret & Cellar Upon every other inhabited dwelling house of two rooms or apartments, exclusive of Halls or Entries...
The sitting of the Court and an uncommon pressure of business have unavoidably delayed an answer to your last favour. I have read with attention Mr. Pickerings letter. It is in the main a substantial and satisfactory paper, will in all probability do considerable good in enlightening public opinion at home—and I do not know that it contains any thing which will do harm elsewhere. It wants...
My late situation exposes me to applications which I cannot resist without appearing unkind. It is understood that Mr. Walker is about to resign the place of naval Officer. Mr. Jonathan Burrall Mr. Rogers (Walker’s Deputy) and Col Giles (the present Marshall) have all three mentioned the subject to me and requested me to express my opinion of their qualifications to you. As to Mr. Burrall...
There are appearances too strong not to excite apprehension that the affairs of this Country are drawing fast to an eventful crisis. Various circumstances dayly unfolding themselves authorise a conclusion that France has adopted a system of conduct towards the neutral maritime nations generally which amount to little less than actual hostility. I mean the total interruption of their Trade with...
I remember that very early in the day & prior to any act of Great Britain the French passed a decree violating with regard to all the neutral powers the principle of free ships free goods & I think making provisions liable to seizure. This decree was afterwards rescinded as to America—then again revived & then again revoked. I want copies of these decrees for a particular purpose useful to the...
[ New York, January 21, 1797. On January 23, 1797, Morris wrote to Hamilton : “Your letter of the 21st inst. is just received.” Letter not found. ]
I received your late letter in due time. You seem to be of opinion to defer to a future period the commencement of direct taxation. I acknowlege I am inclined to lay gently hold of it now. Leaders of the opposite party favour it now, perhaps with no good design. But it will be well to take them while in the humour and make them share the responsibility. This will be the more easy as they are...
[ New York ] January 19, 1797 . “You are hereby requested to produce on the Trial of this cause during the present term whensoever the same shall be the letters from the Plaintiff to you whereof a list is at foot.…” ADfS , Free Library of Philadelphia; ADf , Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress. This is a reference to the case of Louis Le Guen v Isaac Gouverneur and Peter Kemble , which was...
This will probably be handed you by Mrs De Neuville widow of Mr. De Neuville of Holland a Gentleman who embarked very zealously and very early in the cause of this country—was instrumental in promoting it and as I understand an object of persecution in consequence of it, which was a link in the chain of his pecuniary ruin. I think his widow has a strong claim upon the kindness of our country...
Mrs. De Neufville widow of Mr. De Neufville formerly of Holland is on her way to Philadelphia to solicit the Kindness of Congress in virtue of services rendered the American cause by her husband. You probably Know their history as South Carolina was particularly concerned. From what I have heard it seems to me her pretensions on the score of her husband to the Kindness of this Country are...
Mrs. De Neuville widow of Mr. De Neuville formerly of Holland lately passed through this City. On her way she called upon me and announced her intention to make application to Congress on the ground of the political services rendered the UStates by her husband, as in fact a principal cause of his pecuniary misfortunes—and expressed a wish that I would bring her case under your eye. I told her...
For the Minerva It is remarkable how uniform our Jacobins have been in blaming and vilifying our own Government and in excusing and justifying the conduct of the French towards us. Before there was ever the pretence of any subject of complaint against this Country France violated that article of her Treaty with us which stipulates that free ships shall make free goods. —This breach of Treaty...
There are circumstances, which render it too probable that a very delicate state of things is approaching between the United States and France. When threatened with foreign danger, from whatever quarter, it is highly necessary that we should be united at home; and considering our partiality hitherto for France, it is necessary towards this Union, that we should understand what has really been...
Poor Duer has now had a long & severe confinement—Such as would be adequate for no trifling crime. I am well aware of all the blame to which he is liable and do not mean to be his apologist—though I believe he has been as much the dupe of his own imagination as others have been the victims of his projects. But what then? He is a man—he is a man with whom we have both been in habits of friendly...
Every step of the progress of the present war in Europe has been marked with horrors. If the perpetration of them was confined to those who are the acknowleged instruments of despotic Power, it would excite less surprize—but when they are acted by those who profess themselves to be the Champions of the rights of man, they naturally occasion both wonder and regret. Passing by the extreme...
I received yesterday your’s by Post, which I communicated immediately to the Directors of both Banks, that is, so much as concerned each party. It has been very consolatory to the Bank of New York & will do good. All will be well. Mr. Alexander McComb applied, while I was in Office, respecting some land he & Edgar had purchased of the Public and on which they had made a partial payment which...
I wrote to you two days ago on the subject of obtaining an instruction from the Bank of the U States to the Direction of the Office here to prevent a speedy repetition of their call on the Bank of New York. This Bank has so large a proportion of its whole Capital in the power of the Office that if it be not tranquillized on the subject of demands from that quarter, it will be driven to such...
I did not understand by your letter of the 17th. of November whether you meant or not to authorise the immediate commencement of the sale of Stock. If you think this measure will become indispensable, it may be well to anticipate the execution; though indeed sales of Stock are at this juncture nearly impracticable. Yet I imagine it will be agreeable to the Bank to have permission to...
[ New York, December 20, 1796. On January 12, 1797, Higginson wrote to Hamilton : “Your Letter of 20 of last month I have received.” Letter not found. ]
I have received your letter with a Post note of a thousand dollars on account of the Mortgage of the lands formerly Holkers in which Mr. Church is interested. The papers respecting this affair in my possession will be looked up & sent to Mr. Laurance by Mondays Post. This letter will serve you as a Receipt. Yrs. truly ALS , from a typescript furnished by an anonymous donor. Cooper, the founder...
I have received, my dear Sir, your several letters of the 25 of August 10 & 11th. of Septr. You know my sentiments towards you too well to ascribe my delay in answering them to any other cause than the imperiousness of avocations with which I could not dispense. Public opinion, taking the Country at large, has continued since you left us to travel on in a right direction, and, I trust, will...
New York, December 16, 1796. Discusses the Holland Land Company’s interest in Robert Morris’s proposed negotiations with the Seneca Indians. ALS , Gemeentearchief Amsterdam, Holland Land Company. These documents were transferred in 1964 from the Nederlandsch Economisch-Historisch Archief, Amsterdam. LeRoy, Bayard, and McEvers were partners in a New York City mercantile firm which represented...
The [New York] Argus. Greenleaf’s New Daily Advertiser , December 27, 1796. In reprinting this handbill signed by “A True American,” the Argus stated that on December 13, 1796, “three thousand of the following hand-bill were slily pushed under the knockers and doors of the citizens under cover of the darkness of the night.” The Argus suggests, but does not categorically state, that H wrote...
For the Minerva. To the Citizens of New-York. Fellow Citizens, Elections in Republics are always of importance. The approaching one may with truth be said to be peculiarly so. No one can doubt that the steady and prosperous course of our government, hitherto is very much owing to the well deserved weight and influence of the excellent and beloved patriot, who now fills the presidential chair,...
40The Answer, [8 December 1796] (Hamilton Papers)
For The Minerva. The French republic have, at various times, during the present war, complained of certain principles, and decisions of the American government, as being violations of its neutrality, or infractions of the treaty made with France in the year 1778. These complaints were principally made in the year 1793, and explanations, which, till now, were deemed satisfactory, were made by...
The President of the Bank of New York called upon me yesterday and manifested considerable anxiety about the State of the Bank. It seems the course of things lately, and their large accommodation to the Government, have produced a heavy ballance against them in favor of the Office of Discount at this place, which has lately called for 100000 Ds in specie & it is apprehended may speedily call...
I have lately received a line from you. I had been apprised of the machination to cheat us into Mr Burr but I have no apprehension of its success. My chief fear is that the attachment of our Eastern friends to Mr. Adams may prevent their voting for Pinckney likewise, & that some irregularity or accident may deprive us of Adams & let in Jefferson. Judge Tichener in passing through informed me...
[ New York, November 28, 1796. On December 9, 1796, Higginson wrote to Hamilton : “Your Letter of 28 of last month I received.” Letter not found. ] Higginson, who had commanded a privateer during the American Revolution and had been a delegate to the Continental Congress from Massachusetts in 1782 and 1783, was one of Boston’s wealthiest merchants and a prominent Federalist.
I thank you for your Note sending me Adet’s letter. The present is in my opinion as critical a situation as our Government has been in—requiring all its prudence all its wisdom all its moderation, all its firmness. Though the thing is now passed, I do not think it useless to say to you that I was not well pleased with the Secretary of State’s answer to Adets note communicating the order...
I duly received your letter of the 12th. instant. My avocations have not permitted me sooner to comply with your desire. I have looked over the papers & suggested alterations & corrections; and I have also numbered the paragraphs I. II. III &c in the order in which it appears to me eligble they should stand in the Speech. I thought upon full reflection you could not avoid an allusion to your...
My anxiety for such a course of things as will most promise a continuance of peace to the country, & in the contrary event a full justification of the President, has kept my mind dwelling on the late Reply to Mr. Adet & though it is a thing that cannot be undone, yet if my ideas are right the communication of them may not be wholly useless for the future. The more I have considered that paper...
[ New York, November 10, 1796. On November 19, 1796, Morris wrote to Hamilton : “I … find your letter of the 10 Inst.” Letter not found. ]
I have been employed in making and have actually completed a rough draft on the following heads “ National University, Military Academy, Board of Agriculture, Establishment of such manufactories on public account as are relative to the equipment of army & navy, to the extent of the public demand for supply , & excluding all the branches already well established in the country.—The gradual &...
That among the objects of labour and industry, Agriculture considered with reference either to individual or national welfare is first in importance may safely be affirmed without derogating from the just and real value of any other branch. It is indeed the best basis of the prosperity of every other. In proportion as nations progress in population and other circumstances of maturity this...
I beg the favour of you to let me know what if any thing has been settled with Messrs. Wheelen & Miller or whereabouts that affair is. I expect with certain[ty] Mr. Church early in the spring, and should be grieved to have to inform him of an unsettled state of this business. I am   Sir   Yr. very hum. servant ALS , Papers of Tench Coxe in the Coxe Family Papers at the Historical Society of...