To George Washington1
New York March 24 1796
I had the honor to receive yesterday your letter of the 22.2 The course you suggest has some obvious advantages & merits careful consideration. I am not however without fears that there are things in the instructions to Mr. Jay3 which good policy, considering the matter externally as well as internally, would render it inexpedient to communicate. This I shall ascertain to day. A middle course is under consideration—that of not communicating the papers to the house but of declaring that the Secretary of State is directed to permit them to be read by the members individually. But this is liable to a great part of the objections which militate against a full public disclosure. I throw it out however here that you may be thinking of it, if it has not before occurred. In the course of this day I shall endeavour to concenter my ideas & prepare something—the premisses of which may be in any event proper, admitti⟨ng⟩ of the conclusion being modified & adapted to your eventual determination.4
Respectfully & Affecty Sir Yr Obed ser
ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress; copy, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.
1. For background to this letter, see the introductory note to H to Washington, March 7, 1796. See also H to William Loughton Smith, March 10, 1796; H to Rufus King, March 16, 1796.
2. Letter not found.
3. For Secretary of State Edmund Randolph’s instructions to John Jay as envoy extraordinary to negotiate a treaty with Great Britain, see H to Washington, April 23, 1794, note 13. See also H to Jay, May 6, 1794.