To Theodore Sedgwick1
[Bristol,2 Pennsylvania, February 18, 1795]
My Dear Sedgwik
Every moment’s reflection increases my chagrin and disgust at the failure of the propositions concerning the unsubscribed Debt.3 I am tortured by the idea that the Country should be so completely and so unnecessarily dishonored. A day of reckoning must come. I pray you, let the yeas and nays seperate the wheat from the chaff. I may otherwise have to feel the distress of wounding a friend by a shaft levelled at an enemy. The case is an extreme one. Managements are every way improper.
ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.
1. Sedgwick was a member of the House of Representatives from Massachusetts and one of the leading supporters of H’s fiscal policies in the House.
For background to this letter, see the introductory note to H’s “Report on a Plan for the Further Support of Public Credit,” January 16, 1795.
3. For H’s proposals for the unsubscribed debt, see the first “proposition” and “Remarks upon the first Proposition” in “Report on a Plan for the Further Support of Public Credit,” January 16, 1795. Although the original House measure had incorporated H’s ideas on the unsubscribed debt, on the very day on which H wrote the above letter to Sedgwick the House had approved in an unrecorded vote a motion for eliminating from the bill any provisions for paying the unsubscribed debt (Annals of Congress description begins The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States; with an Appendix, Containing Important State Papers and Public Documents, and All the Laws of a Public Nature (Washington, 1834–1849). description ends , IV, 1237–40). This motion had been made by James Hillhouse, a Federalist from Connecticut. For the history of this bill and its subsequent enactment, see the introductory note to “Report on a Plan for the Further Support of Public Credit,” January 16, 1795.