Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to Theodore Sedgwick, [9 November 1788]

To Theodore Sedgwick1

[New York, November 9, 1788]

Dear Sir

Your last letter but one2 met me at Albany attending Court;3 from whence I am but just returned. Yours of the 2d. instant is this moment handed me.

I am very sorry for the scism you hint at among the Foederalists; but I have so much confidence in the good management of the fast friends of the constitution that I hope no ill consequences will ensue from that disagreement. It will however be worthy of great care to avoid suffering a difference of opinion on collateral points to produce any serious division between those who have hitherto drawn together in the great national question. Permit me to add that I do not think you should allow any line to be run between those who wish to trust alterations to future experience and those who are desirous of them at the present juncture. The rage for amendments is in my opinion rather to be parried by address than encountered with open force. And I should therefore be loth to learn that your parties have been arranged professedly upon the distinction I have mentioned. The mode in which amendments may best be made and twenty other matters may serve as pretexts for avoiding the evil and securing the good.

On the question between Mr. H—and Mr. A—4 Mr. King5 will probably have informed you that I have upon the whole concluded that the latter ought to be supported. My measures will be taken accordingly. I had but one scruple; but after mature consideration I have relinquished it. Mr. A to a sound understanding has always appeared to me to add an ardent love for the public good; and as his further knowlege of the world seems to have corrected those jealousies which he is represented to have once been influenced by I trust nothing of the kind suggested in my former letter will disturb the harmony of the administration.

Let me continue to hear from you and believe me to be with very great esteem & regard

Yr. friend & servt

A Hamilton

T. Sedgwick Esqr

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1In JCHW description begins John C. Hamilton, ed., The Works of Alexander Hamilton (New York, 1851). description ends , I, 476, a portion of this letter is printed under the date of October 9, 1788. The entire letter is also printed with the correct date of November 9, 1788 (JCHW description begins John C. Hamilton, ed., The Works of Alexander Hamilton (New York, 1851). description ends , I, 486).

3The October session of the New York Supreme Court was held at Albany on the third Tuesday in October.

4John Hancock and John Adams. See Sedgwick to H, October 16 and November 2, 1788.

5Rufus King.

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