Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from George Washington, 16 November 1795

From George Washington

Philadelphia 16th. Novr. 1795.

My dear Sir,

(Private & confidential)

The papers herewith enclosed are so full, on the subject of my former request, that nothing more remains than to refer to them for every information I can give, as the ground work of the Superstructure you are to build.1 When you are done with them be so good as to return the whole to me again, with those sent before; together with the letter respecting young Fayette,2 and the result, relative to him.

I would beg the favor of you to run your eye over the letter from Madam de Segur3 & let one of your young men make some enquiry into the truth of her narrative and if found just, to seal & forward my letter to her, safely. The reason why I give you this trouble, is, that applications of ye kind have been, and still are very frequent; and in more instances than one, impositions have been practiced on me. If this lady’s tale be true, her case is pitiable; and I have only to regret that the frequent calls upon my private purse, render it inconvenient for me to do more for her than the pittance I enclose to her.

With sincere, and affectionate esteem and regard I am ever yours

Go: Washington

PS. Be so good as to drop me a single [line]4 merely to say that this letter & its enclosures have got safely into your hands.

Colo. Hamilton

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress; ADfS, George Washington Papers, Library of Congress.

1On October 29, 1795, Washington asked H for suggestions on subjects to be covered in the President’s annual message to Congress. On November 10, 1795, Washington again wrote to H asking him “to suspend your superstructure until you receive a ground plan from me.”

2For information on George Washington Motier Lafayette, see H to Washington, October 16, 1795, note 1, and Washington to H, October 29, 1795.

3On November 7, 1795, Mrs. R. V. de Segur wrote to Washington from New York City asking him for assistance. In the course of this letter she stated: “mother of Seven children i had formerly the certitude to put them in an happy situation—Six of them are with me and that is the only fortune that is left to me. all the rest was lost for me in St Domingo where i had my estates.… i am now out of the power to furnish any more bread to my children and to some old Servants who followed me here.… all of us are reduced to suffer the nudity and famine” (ALS, George Washington Papers, Library of Congress).

4This word has been taken from the draft.

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