Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to Gouverneur Morris, 22 June 1792

To Gouverneur Morris


Philadelphia June 22d 1792

My dear Sir

Your three letters of the 21st of March, 6th and 10th of April have been received, and gave me great pleasure.

I accept your challenge to meet you in the field of mutual confidential communication;1 though I cannot always promise punctuality, or copiousness. I will however do the best I can.

Will it not be a necessary preliminary to agree upon a Cypher? One has been devised for me, which though simple in execution is tedious in preparation. I may shortly forward it.

In the mean time, let us settle some appellations for certain official characters. I will call

The President — Scavola
The vice President — Brutus
The Secretary of State — Scipio
The Secretary at War — Sempronius
The Secretary of the Treasury — Paulus
The Attorney General — Lysander
Senators { Robert Morris — Cato
Oliver Elsworth — Virginius
Rufus King — Leonidas
George Cabot — Portius
Aaron Burr — Savius
Richard Henry Lee — Marcus
Monroe2 — Sydney
Ralph Izard — Themistocles
Representatives { James Madison — Tarquin
Ames3 — Valerius
Abraham Baldwin — Hambden
John Laurance — Solon
Mercer4 — Tacitus
Murray5 — Livy
Thomas Fitzsimmons — Cicero
Egbert Benson — Cromwell
Jeremiah Wadsworth — Titius
Jonathan Trumbull — Quintus
Giles6 — Chronus

You see, I have avoided characteristic Names. In my next you shall have a sketch of the general state of the country, its politics and parties.

I thank you for your calculations, as I will for every suggestion you shall make.7 I shall seldom fail to get either a new idea, or a new application of an old one.

I shall endeavour to put in train, by this opportunity, the papers you advise to be sent, to the Russian Ambassador.8

If your courage is not put to the test by being put to wear what you have won, it will not be my fault.

Do you know enough of the catechism in the Vulgar Tongue to fulfil what you have lately undertaken?

Yrs sincerely


P. S.   Do me the favour to have the inclosed delivered to the party.

Gouverneur Morris Esqr

Copy, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

2James Monroe.

3Fisher Ames.

4John F. Mercer.

5William Vans Murray.

6William B. Giles.

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