Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Brigadier General John Cadwalader, 2 March 1783

From Brigadier General John Cadwalader

Philada: 2d: March 1783

As General Reed’s Remarks on a late publication relating to a Conversation I had with him at Bristol in the year 1776, require an answer;1 I shall be much obliged if you will endeavour to recollect whether I did not at some period of the war mention the said Conversation to you, in confidence & beg you will be particular with respect to time, place, & any other Circumstances which you may remember.

The obvious necessity of my address to you upon the present occasion, will, I hope, render any apology unnecessary. I am dear Sir with great respect & esteem your most O & very hble Servt.

John Cadwalader

ADfS, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

1In September, 1782, an article in The [Philadelphia] Independent Gazetteer; or The Chronicle of Freedom stated that Joseph Reed in December, 1776, had told Cadwalader that he was considering the abandonment of the American cause and the acceptance of British protection. Reed immediately wrote Cadwalader, his bitter rival in Pennsylvania politics, and asked for an explanation. In reply Cadwalader maintained that such a conversation had taken place. For his defense Reed collected letters and sworn statements denying the charge, and in January, 1783, he published them, together with his defense, in a pamphlet entitled: Remarks on a Late Publication in the Independent Gazetteer, with a Short Address to the People of Pennsylvania on the Many Libels and Slanders Which Have Lately Appeared Against the Author (Philadelphia, 1783). After Reed’s pamphlet appeared, Cadwalader began preparing his reply.

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