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From Alexander Hamilton to Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, 22 January 1796

To Charles Cotesworth Pinckney1

New York January 22. 1796

Dear Sir

Give me leave to recommend to your civilities Mr. Winstanly2 the bearer of this an English Gentleman who came to this City some years. After former generosity and carelessness of temper disposes of a little fortune, he has assumed the business of Landscape Painting and in pursuance of his plan visits your County, which also he is desirous through curiosity of seeing before he goes to Europe. He appears to have a warm passion for his present pursuit, in which he may be said to be self taught—and what is more to his purpose, talent. With good opportunities I dare say he will arrive at eminence. In introducing him to you I give him a proof of my regard. With esteem & attachment

I am Sir   Your obed serv

A Hamilton

Charles C. Pinckney Esq

ALS, Pinckney Family Papers, Library of Congress.

1Pinckney, a veteran of the American Revolution, was a member of the lower house of the South Carolina legislature in 1778 and 1782 and a member of the state senate in 1779. He was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in 1787, and in 1788 he was a member of the South Carolina Ratifying Convention. He declined George Washington’s offers of the post of Secretary of War in 1794 and of Secretary of State in 1795. In July, 1796, he accepted the appointment to be United States Minister Plenipotentiary to France to succeed James Monroe.

2William Winstanley, an English landscape painter, came to the United States in the early seventeen-nineties. In 1793 and 1794 George Washington bought four of his pictures. Winstanley then proposed, among other projects, to paint pictures of the new Federal City. See Washington to the Commissioners of the District of Columbia, September 5, 1793 (GW description begins John C. Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of George Washington (Washington, 1931–1944). description ends , XXXIII, 83); H to ——, April 10, 1793; H to Robert Morris, May 6, 1793. In 1795 Winstanley put on permanent exhibition in New York a panorama of London, the first of its kind to be seen in the United States.

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