Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Elisha Boudinot, 16 August 1792

From Elisha Boudinot

New-York, August 16th, 1792.

Dear Sir:

I had just returned from the Circuit when I received your letter1 by yesterday’s post, and had not then read the pieces you alluded to. Judge Bradford2 was with me, and relating the affair—especially the affidavit—he said he was very much mistaken, if he had not the relation from Freneau’s3 own mouth. “This I know,” says he, “that at the time I was in New-York, and was informed of Mr. J.’s4 writing him a letter, which he took in dudgeon, as striking at his independence, &c., and wrote a very insulting answer, which he showed to Mr. Childs,5 who prevented his sending it, &c; and in fact related the whole story as I had it. I have no doubt, if you fall in company with him, and bring on the conversation with him, as soon as he returns, he will give you satisfaction on the subject. Converse with him as if you had received no information on the head.

Soon after I had the first conversation with you on that subject, I saw the gentleman I referred to, but I found him more attached to F. than I supposed—and he refused allowing me to say any thing from him. I am still in hopes, through another channel, to ascertain the facts, which I will endeavor to do in the course of the week, if possible, though I doubt not Judge Bradford will, on reflection, be able to mention the authority from which he had the story; and if he had it immediately from F. himself, it will be the best evidence that can be procured, and he appears to have no reserve on the subject.

Have you received my letter inclosing Hall and Mort’s proposals;6 if so, will you write your sentiments on the subject? May we expect to see you on the 20th instant?7 I see by the papers a Mr. Nesbit has arrived from Scotland, and is with General Schuyler.8 Would it be worth while to wait to have his opinion?

Your letter9 inclosing the money I have received and forwarded.

I am, with esteem, dear Sir,   Yours sincerely,

Elisha Boudinot.

JCHW description begins John C. Hamilton, ed., The Works of Alexander Hamilton (New York, 1851–1856). description ends , V, 519–20.

1Letter not found, but see H to Jonathan Dayton, August 13, 1792. For the meeting of the circuit court, see Tench Coxe to H, August 14, 1792.

2William Bradford, judge of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, was the husband of Boudinot’s niece.

3For background concerning Philip Freneau and the establishment of the [Philadelphia] National Gazette, see H to Edward Carrington, May 26, 1792, note 8; “T. L. No. I,” “T. L. No. II,” “T. L. No. III,” July 25, 28, August 11, 1792; “An American No. I,” “An American No. II,” August 4, 11, 1792.

4Thomas Jefferson.

5Francis Childs was editor of The [New York] Daily Advertiser and publisher of the [Philadelphia] National Gazette.

6On August 4, 1792, William Hall wrote to Boudinot concerning an alternative plan for providing water power for the Society for Establishing Useful Manufactures (ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress). The estimate enclosed is signed by Hall and Joseph Mort (DS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress).

7Boudinot is referring to a meeting of the directors of the Society for Establishing Useful Manufactures to be held at Newark, New Jersey, on August 20, 1792. H did not attend this meeting. See H to the Governor and Directors of the Society for Establishing Useful Manufactures, August 16, 1792.

8On August 4, 1792, The [New York] Daily Advertiser reprinted from The Albany Gazette of July 30 an account of proceedings of the board of directors of the Northern Inland Lock Navigation Company. In part the account describes Archibald Nesbit’s arrival and his projected tour of proposed navigation improvements with Philip Schuyler, president of the company, and several directors. The credentials with which Nesbit arrived described him “as a master of the science of canaling, from several years experience both in Holland and in Scotland” (The Daily Advertiser, August 4, 1792).

9Letter not found.

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