Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to Rufus King, [15 July 1789]

To Rufus King

[New York, July 15, 1789]

My Dear Sir

I received your letter by the last Post but one.1 I immediately sat about circulating an idea, that it would be injurious to the City to have Duane elected—as the probability was, that some very unfit character would be his successor.2 My object was to have this sentiment communicated to our members. But a stop was put to my measures, by a letter received from Burr,3 announcing that at a general meeting of the Fœderalists of both houses Schuyler and Duane had been determined upon in a manner that precluded future attempts.4 I find however by a letter from General Schuyler5 received this day that L’hommedieu and Morris may spoil all. Troupe6 tells me that L’hommedieu is opposed to you. He made our Friend Benson7 believe that he would even relinquish himself for you. What does all this mean?

Certain matters here, about which we have so often talked, remain in statu quo.

Yrs. sincerely

A Hamilton

ALS, New-York Historical Society, New York City.

1Letter not found.

2See Robert Troup to H, July 12, 1789.

On June 4, 1789, Governor George Clinton issued a call for a special session of the thirteenth legislature to be held at Albany on July 6, 1789. In his opening address, the governor informed the legislature that it had been convened to elect Senators to represent New York in the Federal Congress. Although both houses of the legislature, elected in April, 1789, were controlled by Federalists, they disagreed on the choice of Senators. The Assembly named Philip Schuyler and James Duane over Rufus King, Lewis Morris, and Ezra L’Hommedieu. In the Senate Duane failed of confirmation by a vote of 9 to 10; Schuyler was agreed upon, 13 to 6; King was turned down, 12 to 6; and L’Hommedieu nominated, 11 to 7. The Assembly refused to accept L’Hommedieu and settled on King. When the Senate on July 16 agreed to King, the election of New York’s Senators was completed. See New York Senate Journal for July 6, 10, 11, 13, 15, 16, 1789, and Assembly Journal for July 15 and 16, 1789.

H’s letter, written from New York City on the day the election was settled, reached Albany after King had been chosen.

3Aaron Burr must have been in Albany where the legislature was in session.

4The decision of this meeting was accepted by the Assembly but rejected by the Senate. See note 2.

5Letter not found.

6Robert Troup. See Troup to H, July 12, 1789.

7Egbert Benson had been attorney general of New York from 1777 to 1787. He recently had been elected to the First United States Congress.

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