Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to Elizabeth Hamilton, 16 August 1781

To Elizabeth Hamilton

Light Camp [New York] Aug. 16. 81

I have received my beloved Betsey your letter informing me of the happy escape of your father.1 He showed an admirable presence of mind, and has given his friends a double pleasure arising from the manner of saving himself and his safety. Upon the whole I am glad this unsuccessful attempt has been made. It will prevent his hazarding himself hereafter as he has been accustomed to do. He is a character too valuable to be trifled with, and owes it to his country and to his family to be upon his guard.

My heart in spite of myself would realize your situation at the time. It has felt all the horror and anguish attached to the idea of your being yourself and seeing your father in the power of ruffians as unfeeling as unprincipled; for such I dare say composed the band. I am inexpressably happy to learn that my ⟨love⟩ has suffered nothing in this disagreeable adventure, and equally so to find that you seem at presen⟨t⟩ to be confirmed in your hopes.

I wrote you by the last post in which I informed you that I had taken command of my corps. Major Fish2 is with me. I prize him both as a friend and an officer.

Tell me whether you received, by the post, two or three posts ago, twenty french crowns, pieces of 8/9 each.

I thank you for your care in procuring Camp equipage. We are comfortably enough situated, and live pretty well. My health is perfect.

You have not told me though I have asked it once or twice whether you had received my letter inclosing two others one for Anne3 one for Peggy.4

My ⟨best regards⟩ to your Mama ⟨and Father. May⟩ God bless you.5

AL[S] from the original in The New York State Library, Albany.

1On August 7, 1781, while Elizabeth Hamilton was staying at her father’s house in Albany, a group of Tories surrounded and entered the house and attempted to kidnap Philip Schuyler. Several neighbors came to the Schuyler family’s rescue. Although Schuyler was not captured. two other men were. For a description of this attack see Philip Schuyler to George Clinton, August 9, 1781, Public Papers of George Clinton description begins Public Papers of George Clinton (New York and Albany, 1900). description ends , VII, 184–86. Letter from Elizabeth Hamilton not found.

2Major Nicholas Fish.

3Presumably Angelica who was Elizabeth Hamilton’s sister and was married to John B. Church.

4Elizabeth Hamilton’s sister, Margarita. The letters to which H refers were enclosed in H to Elizabeth Hamilton, July 13, 1781.

5MS mutilated and remainder of letter missing.

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