Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to Jeremiah Wadsworth, 16 June 1797

To Jeremiah Wadsworth

New York June 16. 1797

My Dear Sir

This will be delivered to you by Mr. John Lytton1 a kinsman of mine. He was born to a handsome fortune—but adversity in Trade has ruined him, insomuch that he is under the necessity of endeavouring to protect himself from too severe creditors by taking whatever benefit the laws of Connecticut will allow him. As he is a worthy man (besides being my relation) I recommend him to your advice and good offices. He will be glad to find employment as a Clerk, till he can obtain a discharge, and as he has been regularly bred to business and writes a good hand I have no doubt he would give satisfaction. If you can recommend him to employment you will oblige me. I am under obligations to a part of his family2 which interest me the more in his affairs. When discharged I must endeavour to bring him forward into some line of business to which he is adapted.

Yrs. truly

A Hamilton

ALS, The Sol Feinstone Collection, Library of the American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia.

1John W. Lytton was H’s first cousin once removed. H’s maternal grandfather, John Fawcett, had two daughters: Rachel, who married John Michael Lavien and was H’s mother, and Ann, who married James Lytton. One of the Lyttons’ children was James Lytton, Jr., who in turn had a son named John W. Lytton (Holger Utke Ramsing, “Alexander Hamilton og hans mødrene slaegt Tidsbilleder fra Dansk Vestindiens barndom,” Personalhistorisk tidsckrift, 24 cm., 10 Raekke, 6 bd. [Copenhagen, 1939], 226–28, 240, 252). An entry in H’s Cash Book, 1795–1804, for November 9, 1797, reads: “John W Lytton Dr to Cash lent him 50” (AD, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress).

2This is a reference to Ann Lytton Mitchell (formerly Ann Lytton Venton), who was the daughter of James and Ann Lytton, as well as H’s favorite cousin. See Ann Mitchell to H, 1796.

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