Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to Jeremiah Wadsworth, 15 June 1785

To Jeremiah Wadsworth

New York June 15. 1785

Dr. Sir,

Before I left Town for Albany some time since, I requested Mr. Duer1 to mention to you, that I believed it would depend upon yourself to be President of the bank here. Since my coming to Town I find you are elected director; and I have no doubt you may be President if you please. I will be much obliged to you to let me know in confidence whether the appointment if made will be accepted.2

You may imagine Your acceptance is a thing I wish for much. It will be of great advantage to the Institution and not disreputable to yourself. As an Inducement, I think I may safely assure you there is a much better prospect of a Charter with the present Legislature than there has been with any former one. Let me hear from you speedily & believe me to be Your friend & servt

Alex Hamilton

ALS, Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford.

1William Duer.

2The two authorized histories of the Bank of New York (Henry W. Domet, A History of the Bank of New York, 1784–1884 [Cambridge, n.d.] and Nevins, History of the Bank of New York description begins Allan Nevins, History of the Bank of New York and Trust Company (New York, 1934). description ends ) state that Jeremiah Wadsworth was president of the Bank of New York from May, 1785, to May, 1786. John D. Platt in his definitive life of Wadsworth states that Wadsworth resigned his directorship and that he was never influential in the bank’s affairs and never elected its president. The sources cited by Platt indicate that he is correct (Platt, “Jeremiah Wadsworth,” description begins John D. R. Platt, “Jeremiah Wadsworth: Federalist Entrepreneur” (Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, Columbia University, 1955). description ends 148–49).

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