Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to Robert Morris, 13 July 1782

To Robert Morris

Albany July 13th. 1782


I have this moment received your letter of the 2d. instant and as the post will set out on its return in half an hour I have little more than time to acknowlege the receipt of it.

I shall tomorrow morning commence a journey to Poughkepsie, where the Legislature are assembled;1 and I will endeavour by every step in my power to second your views; though I am sorry to add without very sanguine expectations. I think it probable the Legislature will do something; but whatever momentary effort they may make ’till the intire change of their present system very little will be done. To effect this, mountains of prejudice and particular interest are to be levelled. For my own part, considering the late serious misfortune to our ally,2 the spirit of reformation of wisdom and of unanimity, which seems to have succeeded to that of blunder, perverseness, and dissention in the British government;3 and the universal reluctance of these states to do what is right, I cannot help viewing our situation as critical; and I feel it the duty of every citizen to exert his faculties to the utmost to support the measures, especially those solid arrangements of finance, on which our safety depends.

I will by the next post forward you the Bond executed with proper sureties.4

It is not in the spirit of compliment but of sincerity I assure that the opinion I entertain of him who presides in the department was not one of the smallest motives to my acceptance of the office; nor will that esteem and confidence which make me now sensibly feel the obliging expressions of your letter fail to have a great share in influencing my future exertions.

I have the honor to be with perfect esteem & respect Sir,    Yr Most Obed Servant

A Hamilton

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1A proclamation issued on June 11, 1782, by Governor George Clinton called on the legislature of New York to convene at Poughkeepsie on July 3, 1782.

2H probably referred to the decisive naval victory of the English over the French fleet in the West Indies on April 12, 1782.

3Lord North had been forced to resign on March 20, 1782. The new ministry was nominally headed by Rockingham, but Shelburne and Charles James Fox were the dominant figures. H must have been unaware of the personal jealousy and rivalry which characterized the relationship of Shelburne and Fox.

4On July 2, Morris had sent H a bond for the performance of duties as receiver of continental taxes in New York. H returned the bond to Morris on July 22, 1782.

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