Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to Catharine Livingston and Elizabeth Schuyler, [January–February 1780]

To Catharine Livingston and Elizabeth Schuyler1

[Morristown, New Jersey, January–February, 1780]2

Col Hamiltons compliments to Miss Livingston and Miss Schuyler. He is sorry to inform them that his zeal for their service make him forget that he is so bad a Charioteer as hardly to dare to trust himself with so precious a charge; though if he were only to consult his own wishes like Phaeton he would assemble the chariot of the sun, if he were sure of experiencing the same fate. Col Tilghman offers himself a volunteer. Col Hamilton is unwilling to lose the pleasure of the party; but one or the other will have the honor to attend the ladies.

AL, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1Elizabeth Schuyler was, of course, the future bride of H and the second daughter of Philip Schuyler. It is assumed that the “Miss Livingston” referred to in the first sentence is Catharine, the youngest daughter of Governor William Livingston of New Jersey, for she was a close friend of Elizabeth Schuyler, and she had corresponded with H.

2It is impossible to date this letter with precision, but most authorities agree that H’s friendship with Elizabeth Schuyler began in the first months of 1780. See Hamilton, Intimate Life description begins John C. Hamilton, The Life of Alexander Hamilton (New York, 1840). description ends , 99–101, and Mitchell, Hamilton description begins Broadus Mitchell, Alexander Hamilton, Youth to Maturity, 1755–1788 (New York, 1957). description ends , I, 196–98.

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