Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to John Jay, 5 December 1791

To John Jay

Philadelphia December 5

My Dear Sir

Your letter of the 14th of November1 duly came to hand.

A temporary absence from this place, some ill health, and much occupation have delayed an acknowlegement ’till this time.

Aware of the inconveniences, to which you refer, from the want of a proper provision for defraying the expences of the Courts—I inserted in the estimate presented at the beginning of the session2 a sum for an appropriation in aid of the fund heretofore designated,3 which has not been found sufficiently productive. I was not consulted when that provision was made or I could have foretold that it would prove inadequate.

Accounts from all quarters bespeak the same content which you mention as prevailing in the Country which has fallen under your observation.

There is I hope no danger of the error you mention, though the passions of some folks would in particular respects lead to it, if they could have their way.

Mrs. H joins in Compliments to Mrs. Jay.

With respectful & affectionate attachment   I remain Dr Sir   Your Obed serv

A Hamilton

The Honble Chief Justice Jay

ALS, Columbia University Libraries.

1Letter not found.

3See “An Act providing compensations for the officers of the Judicial Courts of the United States, and for Jurors and Witnesses, and for other purposes” (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America (Boston, 1845). description ends 216–17 [March 3, 1791]).

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