Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to James Madison, [11 May 1788]

To James Madison

[New York, May 11,1 1788]

My Dr Sir

I believe I am in your debt a letter or two, which is owing to my occupations in relation to the elections &c.2

These are now over in this state, but the result is not known. All depends upon Albany where both sides claim the victory.3 Our doubts will not be removed till the latter end of the month. I hope your expectations of Virginia have not diminished.4

Respecting the first volume of Publius5 I have executed your commands.6 The books have been sent addressed to the care of Governor Randall.7 The second we are informed will be out in the course of a week, & an equal number shall be forwarded.8

Inclosed is a letter committed to my care by a Mr. Van der Kemp which I forward with pleasure9

Believe me with great attachment   Yrs.

A Hamilton

ALS, James Madison Papers, Library of Congress.

1In JCHW description begins John C. Hamilton, ed., The Works of Alexander Hamilton (New York, 1851). description ends , I, 451, and HCLW description begins Henry Cabot Lodge, ed., The Works of Alexander Hamilton (New York, 1904). description ends , IX, 428, this letter is incorrectly dated May 4, 1788. The envelope is stamped “New York, May 11.”

2The New York legislature had voted on February 1, 1788, to call a convention to decide on the Constitution. Elections were held on the last Tuesday in April.

3Albany returned Antifederalist delegates to the New York Ratifying Convention. Despite H’s optimism, the Antifederalists won forty-six seats and nine counties; the Federalists won only four counties and elected only nineteen delegates.

4The Virginia Ratifying Convention, scheduled to meet on June 1, 1788, had been elected early in March. Madison, presumably, had written H expressing confidence that the Convention would adopt the Constitution.

5The first volume of The Federalist, containing the first thirty-six essays, was published on March 22, 1788, by J. and A. McLean and Company.

6Madison probably had asked H to send him volume one of The Federalist.

7H was mistaken. Edmund Randolph was the governor of Virginia and it was, presumably, to him that Madison wished the “Publius” essays sent. See H to Madison, May 19, 1788.

8The second volume of The Federalist was published on May 28, 1788, by J. and A. McLean and Company.

9Letter not found. Presumably Francis A. Vanderkemp, a Mennonite minister from Holland, who immigrated to the United States as a political refugee in 1788. He was befriended by H. See Vanderkemp to H, September 15, 1800.

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