Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to the Editor of The Argus, [6 November 1795]

To the Editor of The Argus1

[New York, November 6, 1795]

For the Minerva.2

The Defence No. 22, if I recollect aright was sent you on Sunday last, accompanied with an intimation that the subsequent numbers would be transmitted with greater frequency, and requesting that their publication might be accelerated. You could be at no loss to conjecture the motive. Since that time, to facilitate dispatch, two other numbers have been sent you.

Instead of acceleration, your paper of the 5th inst. announces that you had resolved to delay the publication of No. 22 ’till Saturday—and to diminish in future by one half the place you had before allowed to these papers in your Gazette; the effect of which would be extremely to retard their progress.

This circumstance obliges me to change the channel of the publication and to recall the papers now in your hands, which you will accordingly deliver to the bearer.

You are at the same time requested to insert in your paper this explanation of the reason for the change. It will remain with the Public to judge, whether considering the general uniform complexion of your paper, and the numerous columns constantly devoted to views opposite to those of Camillus, it would really have been truly an “imposition,” to allow to that writer the full proportion of place which his performance requires and to have continued so far to give to your paper a little diversity of tint. And it will remain with you, by transcribing from other papers or not, to the extent of the six columns you mention to have destined for Camillus, to manifest whether this resolution was designed only to check his progress or to banish him entirely from your paper.3


The [New York] Herald; A Gazette for the Country, November 11, 1795.

1Thomas Greenleaf was the editor of The [New York] Argus, or Greenleaf’s New Daily Advertiser.

For background to this letter, see the introductory note to “The Defence No. I,” July 22, 1795.

On November 3, 1795, the following note appeared in The [New York] Argus, or Greenleaf’s New Daily Advertiser:The Defence, No. XXII, is received, but must give way to more Local matter—as several other communications have done, and must to morrow. A number of our subscribers having complained of the ‘imposition’ of so many lengthy columns from Camillus, the Editor conceives himself obliged to restrict him to only Six Columns Per Week in future, instead of from 8 to 12, as heretofore.” On November 5, 1795, the Argus printed approximately the first half of “The Defence No. XXII” and stated that it would be continued. On November 11, the entire essay appeared in The Herald. It was preceded by the letter which is printed above.

2The full title of this paper was the [New York] American Minerva; an Evening Advertiser. A semi-weekly edition of this paper was also published under the title of The Herald; A Gazette for the Country. As indicated in note 1, it was in the Herald, or the semi-weekly edition of the Minerva, in which “The Defence No. XXII” was printed.

3The editor of the Argus replied to H’s letter as follows: “In last Wednesday’s paper the Editor declared his intention in future of publishing only six columns of the writings of Camillus per week, i e. 3 columns in each of his Country papers, on account of complaints that they had occupied too much of the Register, to the exclusion of more important matter—and, as he has received a Note from that writer, informing him, that in consequence thereof the channel of publishing Should Be Changed, he thinks proper to communicate it to the public. It being his full determination to evince an impartial line of conduct in the management of his paper with respect to parties, it cannot be expected that he would apply a different rule to the writings of Camillus, whose voluminous lucubrations would, if not restricted as to their publication, almost completely occupy the two Registers per week, which have an extensive circulation in the country, and which it was the Editor’s desire to variegate by a certain proportion of all descriptions of politics. Several Communications remain to be noticed” (The [New York] Argus, or Greenleaf’s New Daily Advertiser, November 7, 1795).

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