Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from George Washington, 21 September 1792

From George Washington1

Mount Vernon Septr. 21st. 1792.


Under cover of this Letter you will receive the Proclamation which is just returned to me with the counter signature of The Secretary of State. I have erased the words “dictated by weighty reasons of public exigency,”2 & scored others with a pencil, which you are hereby authorised to take out or retain as you may think best.

As the Instrument is drawn I could do no other than fill up one of the blanks with the name of the place at wch. I now am; but, as it is to have a general circulation, you may decide upon the propriety of this, & alter or let it stand according to your judgment.3

With esteem, I am &c.

G: Washington

LC, George Washington Papers, Library of Congress.

2Acting on Randolph’s suggestion, H had called this phrase to Washington’s attention (Randolph to H, September 8, 1792; H to Washington, September 11, 1792). After signing the proclamation, Thomas Jefferson returned it to Washington, together with a letter dated September 18, 1792, in which he also suggested the removal of the phrase (ALS, RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters, 1790–1799, National Archives).

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