Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to Pierre Van Cortlandt, [16 February 1789]

To Pierre Van Cortlandt

[New York, February 16, 1789]

Dr Sir

By the direction of the Committee I transmit you the inclosed letter.1 I doubt not Sir you will believe me to be sincere when I assure you that I should be much more happy if circumstances permitted me to be the channel of a very different application.2 But such is the situation of our state that personal attachments are obliged to yield to public necessity.

As I allow myself to hope Sir that you do me the honor to rank m⟨e⟩ among the number of those who have a hig⟨h⟩ personal esteem and regard for you, I venture upon the strength of that impression to add my warmest wishes as an individual to the instances of the Committee that you may resolve to yield to the exigency of the case and withdraw from a competition in which your friends can promise themselves no advantage to you and perceive much disadvantage to the cause they have so earnestly at heart—the removal of the present governor. With the sincerest respect and attachment I have the honor to be Dr. Sir Yr. Obed & hume ser

A Hamilton

Lt. Governor Cortland

ALS, Mr. Hall Park McCullough, North Bennington, Vermont.

1The enclosure doubtless was the report of a meeting of New York Federalists who had nominated Van Cortlandt for the lieutenant governorship on the ticket with Robert Yates (see “Appointment as Member of Committee of Correspondence,” February 11, 1789).

2Van Cortlandt had been mentioned as a possible candidate for governor. He announced his availability in the following letter which was repeatedly printed in The [New York] Daily Advertiser:

“To the Independent Electors of the State of New-York.

“As a Servant of the Public I have been requested, by a number of my friends from the several Countries, to offer myself a Candidate for Governor of the State of New-York, at the ensuing Election: I therefore hereby acquaint my fellow Citizens, that if they think proper to give me their Suffrages, that I will serve them to the best of my abilities. Pierre Van Cortlandt. Albany, January 28, 1789.” (The Daily Advertiser, February 2, 1789.)

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