From Robert Troup
New York 25 Decr 1793
My dear friend
Frances I find is persisting in his persecution of you and As he has thought proper to complain to Congress,1 the business has acquired a degree of importance which perhaps is not unworthy of your attention. Under the influence of this idea I applied yesterday to Dunscomb2 to give me a memorandum of what he had some time ago told me had passed between you & him with relation to some matter in which Frances was interested. The memorandum was readily furnished me & I now forward it to you. If the information can be of any use to you I will have it put into the form of a certificate & will transmit it to you without delay.
It is the general opinion of the friends of the government here that the President has never appeared to greater advantage than in his last Speech to Congress & the communications which followed it.3 Genet is completely on his back & I cannot now hear of any person who attempts seriously to defend his conduct. Jefferson’s letter to Gouverneur Morris4 has blotted all the sins of the former out of the book of our remembrance; and with the sentiments & temper, Jefferson at present appears to profess, we would much regret that he should quit his post until the clouds which threaten a storm be dispersed. If Jefferson resigns it is conjectured Randolph will succeed him & in this event the office of Attorney General would suit both Laurance5 & Harison.6 I verily believe the latter is the most competent Lawyer in the United States for the office.
Judge Duane7 is nearly gone. The question of Jurisdiction now before him has frightened him into a fit of sickness & God Knows when we shall have his decree.8 His delay is a source of virulent censure upon our government amongst the partizans of the French Sans culottes.
In the election of our Branch directors I wish it could be so contrived that Lenox9 could be one of them. It would be grateful to him & to many of our good friends. Last year he was on the nomination & I have understood was near succeeding. He is a very honest & sound fellow and has the reputation of being a man of handsome property. If other arrangements would admit of it I should be personally gratified with his appointment.
If you have not already written to Benson10 about our next election for Governor in answer to Benson’s letter to you upon that subject11 I think you had better postpone writing till you see Harison. He will attend the election of Directors for the national bank.
Notwithstanding every effort of the antifederalists to excite a disposition for war the great majority of our fellow citizens continue firm in their wish for peace with all the world. I sincerely hope this will also continue to be the wish of the Government. By a war I think we shall hazard much——& I do not see what we are to gain. With the sincerest affection
I am Dear Sir Yours
A. Hamilton Esq
ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.
1. For background to the Frauncis affair, see the introductory note to Andrew G. Fraunces to H, May 16, 1793.
On December 19, 1793, a “memorial of Andrew G. Fraunces, of the city of New York, was presented to the House and read, stating that, in the month of May last, he purchased warrants of the late Board of Treasury, to a considerable amount, and, agreeably to the act of Congress of the twenty-ninth of September, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine, making appropriations for those warrants, presented them to the Secretary of the Treasury for payment; but was, by him, from time to time, trifled with, notwithstanding the law, and ultimate payment mysteriously denied or evaded; and praying an inquiry into, and relief in the premises.
“Ordered, That the said memorial be referred to Mr. Samuel Smith, Mr. [William B.] Giles, Mr. [William] Findley, Mr. [Jonathan] Dayton, and Mr. [Peleg] Coffin; that they do examine the matter thereof, and report the same, with their opinion thereupon to the House.” (Journal of the House, I description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States (Washington, 1826), I. description ends I, 18.)
2. Edward Dunscomb, a New York City attorney, had witnessed Glaubeck’s transfer to Thomas Bazen.
3. See the introductory note to “Outline for George Washington’s Fifth Annual Address to Congress,” November, 1793.
4. This is Jefferson’s letter of August 16, 1793, requesting the recall of Genet. See “Cabinet Meetings. Proposals Concerning the Conduct of the French Minister,” August 1–23, 1793; Cabinet Meeting. Notes Concerning the Conduct of the French Minister,” August 2, 1793; “Notes for a Letter to Gouverneur Morris,” August 2–16, 1793.
5. John Laurance.
6. Richard Harison.
7. James Duane was Federal judge for the District of New York.
8. This is a reference to two cases tried before Duane in the winter of 1793–1794 involving the capture by French privateers of British vessels which British diplomatic officials claimed had been taken within American territorial waters. In one case, George Meade, John Durkin, and John Milloway v The Brigantine Catharine, Troup was representing the libelants. For the circumstances surrounding the capture of the Catharine, see “Cabinet Meeting. Opinion Respecting the Measures to Be Taken Relative to a Sloop Fitted Out as a Privateer,” June 12, 1793, and H to Richard Harison, June 13–15, 1793. The other case was Samuel Chollet and Perigrine Bomdieu v The Brigantine William Tell.
9. Robert Lenox, a New York City merchant, was elected a director of the New York branch of the Bank of the United States (Gazette of the United States, February 8, 1794).
10. Egbert Benson.
11. Letter not found.