Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to Thomas FitzSimons, 27 November 1789

To Thomas FitzSimons1

[New York] November 27, 1789. “With regard to feeling the public pulse about the debt I have several times had an inclination to the measure; but this inclination has given place to the reflection, that bringing on a discussion might be as likely to fix prejudices as to produce good, and that it may be safest to trust to the effect of the Legislative sanction to good measures, and to the reasons that will accompany them at the time.”

Hamilton, History description begins John C. Hamilton, Life of Alexander Hamilton, a History of the Republic of the United States of America (Boston, 1879). description ends , IV, 64.

1In the November 1, 1930, catalogue of Charles F. Heartman a signed letter of this date to FitzSimons from H is listed as Lot 53. Heartman printed the following extract: “It is neither safe nor pleasant to commit the public money now to unauthorized hands.” The J. C. Hamilton and Heartman extracts are the only portions of the letter that have been found.

The J. C. Hamilton extract is preceded by the following statement:

“A few days after, Hamilton addressed inquiries to Fitzsimmons, a leading merchant, as to the modes of drawing the public revenue from the different ports of the United States. He intimated his desire to embrace the pilots in a national system—requested his ‘ideas also’ respecting new objects of revenue.”

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