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To Alexander Hamilton from Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, 3 May 1802

From Charles Cotesworth Pinckney1

Charleston [South Carolina] May 3d. 1802

Dear Sr:

I was in Georgia when your favour of the 15th: of March arrived in Charleston, & when I received it, it was too late to set out for Washington to be there at the time mentioned even if I had been prepared for such a jaunt. I agree entirely with you in your sentiments of the act repealing the act of the last session for the better organization of the Judiciary department; but it was natural to expect that Persons who have been always hostile to the Constitution would when they had power endeavour to destroy a work whose adoption they opposed, and whose execution they have constantly counteracted. But I do not imagine they will stop here, they will proceed in their mad & wicked career, and the Peoples’ eyes will be opened. If you have been able to effect a meeting I should be glad to hear of the result. I did not write to Genl: Davie2 as I knew he had lately met with a loss in his family which would prevent his being with you even if he had time.3

Be so obliging as to acquaint the Editor of the Herald4 that none of his South Carolina Subscribers have received more than three parcels of papers from him. If he was regular in the transmitting them I am sure he would receive encouragement in this State; but the irregularity & negligence of the persons who put them up will occasion most of those who now subscribe to withdraw their names another year. From Boston, Philadelphia & Washington I get the papers punctually. I am obliged to you for making me acquainted with Prince Ruspoli,5 I found him well informed. He sails for Europe tomorrow. I always am

Your affectionate friend

Charles Cotesworth Pinckney

Genl: Hamilton

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1A Federalist from South Carolina and a veteran of the American Revolution, Pinckney was United States Minister Plenipotentiary to France in 1796, a member of the XYZ mission in 1798, and a major general in the United States Army during the undeclared war with France. In 1800 he was the Federalist candidate for President or Vice President. After the election, he continued to practice law in Charleston and represented that city in the state Senate.

2William R. Davie, former governor of North Carolina, was a member of the three-man peace commission which negotiated the Convention of 1800 (Treaty of Môrtefontaine) with France. In January, 1802, he was appointed a commissioner to negotiate a treaty between the state of North Carolina and the Tuscaroras.

3On August 20, 1802, Davie wrote to John Steele: “The death of Mrs. Davie [Sarah Jones Davie] has devolved upon me the whole care of my children; I am therefore at present confined to this spot [Halifax, North Carolina], and my health has been bad ever since my return from So. Carolina in the spring” (J. G. de Rouhlac Hamilton, “William Richardson Davie: A Memoir,” James Sprunt Historical Monograph No. 7 [Chapel Hill: Published by the University, 1907], 54–55).

4William Coleman, editor of the New-York Evening Post, also edited a semi-weekly edition of the Post, entitled the New-York Herald, the first issue of which appeared on January 2, 1802.

5Bailli Barthélemy Ruspoli. See H to James McHenry, November 21, 1801.

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