Alexander Hamilton Papers

[Caesar No. I], [28 September 1787]

[Caesar No. I]1

[New York, September 28, 1787]

The [New York] Daily Advertiser, October 1, 1787.

1The only evidence for the assumption that H wrote the “Caesar” letters in reply to the letters of “Cato,” presumably written by George Clinton, is a letter printed by Paul Leicester Ford (Essays on the Constitution of the United States [Brooklyn, New York, 1892], 245). Ford states that this letter is in the George Clinton Papers, New York State Library, Albany. A careful search of these papers has not produced this letter. The letter, according to Ford, is in the writing of John Lamb. It reads as follows:

October 18, 1787.

Dear Sir:

Since my last the chief of the state party has declared his opposition to the government proposed, both in private conversation and in print. That you may judge of the reason and fairness of his views, I send you the two essays, with a reply by Caesar. On further consideration it was concluded to abandon this personal form, and to take up the principles of the whole subject. These will be sent you as published, and might with advantage be republished in your gazettes.


The authenticity of this letter cannot, in the absence of further evidence, be established. Since there is convincing evidence that H did not write the “Caesar” letters, they have not been printed. (The second “Caesar” letter is dated October 15, 1787.) For a full discussion on the authorship of the “Caesar” letters, see Jacob E. Cooke, “Alexander Hamilton’s Authorship of the ‘Caesar’ Letters,” The William and Mary Quarterly, XVII (January, 1960), 78–85.

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