Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Rufus King, 2 May [1796]

From Rufus King

[Philadelphia] Monday 2. May [1796]

The inclosed letter will give you all the information that we have on the Subject to wh. it relates. It seems problematical whether PH. can be induced to agree in the arrangement1—some circumstances of which I have lately heard incline me to believe that he will not. Our session will close by the first of June provided no farther impediment is thrown in the way of the Provision for giving Efficacy to the treaty with England—and it is much to be wished that a definitive arrangement should be made before we separate.2

Mr. Pinckney has asked leave to return home, and waits only for Permission.3 To his former stock of Popularity, he will now add the Good will of those who have been peculiarly gratified with the Sp. Treaty;4 should we concur in him will he not receive as great, perhaps greater southern and western Support than any other man?

You must know that I am not a little tired with the separation from my Family, and drudging in the Senate. The work now before us being finished, I think I am intitled to a dismission. It would be agreeable to me to spend a few years abroad, and if I do not misconceive the interests of the Country, I think I could render some service to the Public at the present Period in England—will you converse with Mr Jay on this subject?

I can through no other channel communicate with the Executive—nor do I desire that either of you should suggest the measure, unless you both agree in its propriety and utility.

Farewel   Yrs very sincerely

Rufus King

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1This is a reference to a proposal that Patrick Henry should be the Federalist candidate for President in 1796.

2See King to H, May 1, 1796. On May 3, 1796, “the bill making appropriations towards defraying the expenses of carrying into effect the Treaty lately concluded between the United States and Great Britain was read a third time, the blanks filled up, and passed” by the House of Representatives. It was approved by the Senate on May 4 (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 , V, 80, 1295) and became law on May 6, 1796 (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America (Boston, 1845). description ends 549). See the introductory note to H to George Washington, March 7, 1796.

3Thomas Pinckney was United States Minister Plenipotentiary to Great Britain from 1792 to 1796. In addition, he served as envoy extraordinary to Spain in 1794 and 1795 to negotiate a treaty with that country. On October 10, 1795, Pinckney had written to Washington asking that his letters of recall “be expedited, so as to reach England by the middle of the month of June next” (ALS, George Washington Papers, Library of Congress).

4The Treaty of Friendship, Limits, and Navigation was signed at San Lorenzo el Real by Spain and the United States on October 27, 1795 (Miller, Treaties, II description begins Hunter Miller, ed., Treaties and Other International Acts of the United States of America (Washington, 1931), II. description ends , 318–38).

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