Alexander Hamilton Papers
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From Alexander Hamilton to John Jay, 18 December 1792

To John Jay

Philadelphia Decembr 18. 1792

My Dear Sir

Your favours of the 26 of November & 16 instant have duly come to hand.1 I am ashamed that the former has remained so long unacknowleged; though I am persuaded my friends would readily excuse my delinquencies could they appreciate my situation. Tis not the load of proper official business that alone engrosses me; though this would be enough to occupy any man. Tis not the extra attentions I am obliged to pay to the course of legislative manoevres that alone add to my burthen and perplexity. Tis the malicious intrigues to stab me in the dark, against which I am too often obliged to guard myself, that distract and harrass me to a point, which rendering my situation scarcely tolerable interferes with objects to which friendship & inclination would prompt me.

I have not however been unmindful of the subject of your letters. Mr. King2 will tell you the state the business3 was in. Nothing material has happened since. The representation will probably produce some effect though not as great as ought to be expected. Some changes for the better I trust will take place.

The success of the Vice President is as great a source of satisfaction as that of Mr Clinton would have been of mortification & pain to me.4 Willingly however would I relinquish my share of the command, to the Antifoederalists if I thought they were to be trusted—but I have so many proofs of the contrary as to make me dread the experience of their preponderancy. Yr. note to Mrs. Gibbons has been sent.

Very respectfully & Affecly   D Sir   Yr Obed serv

A Hamilton

The Honble J Jay

ALS, Columbia University Libraries.

1Neither letter has been found.

2Rufus King.

3On November 21, 1792, the Senate appointed Oliver Ellsworth of Connecticut, Caleb Strong of Massachusetts, James Monroe of Virginia, Aaron Burr of New York, Samuel Johnston of North Carolina, and Rufus King of New York “a committee to take the Judiciary system into consideration” (Annals of Congress description begins The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States; with an Appendix, Containing Important State Papers and Public Documents, and All the Laws of a Public Nature (Washington, 1834–1849). description ends , III, 616). Two weeks earlier George Washington had laid before the Senate “a letter and representation from the Chief Justice and Associate Judges of the Supreme Court of the United States, stating the difficulties and inconveniences which attend the discharge of their duties, according to the present Judiciary system” (Annals of Congress description begins The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States; with an Appendix, Containing Important State Papers and Public Documents, and All the Laws of a Public Nature (Washington, 1834–1849). description ends , III, 611). The committee did not report until January 3, 1793 (Annals of Congress description begins The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States; with an Appendix, Containing Important State Papers and Public Documents, and All the Laws of a Public Nature (Washington, 1834–1849). description ends , III, 625).

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