Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to George Washington, 29 March [1796]

To George Washington

[New York] March 29 [1796]


I wish the inclosed could have been sent in a more perfect State.1 But it was impossible. I hope however it can be made out & may be useful.

It required more time to say all that was proper in a more condensed form.

In considering the course to be pursued by the President it may be well he should be reminded that the same description of men who call for the papers have heretofore maintained that they were not bound by any communication in confidence but were free afterwards to do as they pleased with papers sent them.

Respect & Aff

A Hamilton

ALS, George Washington Papers, Library of Congress.

1For 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; H to Washington, March 24, 26, 28, 1796.

In this letter H enclosed his draft of the President’s reply to the resolution introduced into the House of Representatives by Edward Livingston on March 2, 1796, and passed by the House on March 24. This resolution requested the President to submit to the House the papers relating to the negotiation of the Jay Treaty. Washington, in submitting his reply, however, used a draft prepared by Timothy Pickering and revised by Charles Lee rather than the draft sent by H. For Washington’s reasons for not using H’s draft, see Washington to H, March 31, 1796.

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