Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from John B. Church, 13 July 1797

From John B. Church1

New York July 13: 1797

My dear Sir

I wrote you a few Lines hastily Yesterday2 at the Post Office just as the Post was setting out I am this Instant Return’d from your House, Eliza is well she Put into my Hand the Newspaper with James Thomsonn Callender’s Letter to you,3 but it makes not the least Impression on her, only that she considers the whole Knot of those opposed to you to be ⟨Scoundrels⟩, the Postman brought to your House whilst I was there a Letter which as I saw was from Mr Wolcott,4 I took, the Liberty to open, it contained the inclos’d Certificate,5 he mentions his Intention of setting out for New York this Day, but I suppose you saw him last Night, and that he will therefore postpone his Journey. Francis6 has been with me this Morning he pretends that he has Papers in the Hands of his Brother7 at Philadelphia which will be useful to you, and as he was very desirous to see you at Phila. I thought it was best to suffer him to set out, I imagine he will be with you before you Receive this Letter, he told me that Giles,8 Maddison and Finlay9 had frequent Meetings at his Brothers House and that they used a variety of Perswasions to prevail on him to accuse you of being concern’d with Reynolds in Speculation of Certificates altho he repeatedly assur’d them that it was not true, yet they were dispos’d to go every Length for the Purpose of injuring your Character. I suppose Munroe will be at Philadelphia tomorrow, and I think from what I observed Yesterday that he is inclin’d to be very generous and that he is much embarrass’d how to get out of the Scrape in which he has involv’d himself, I told him that Muhlenberg & Venable had both written to you10 but I did not communicate any part of the Contents of their Letters. I Receiv’d a Letter Yesterday from Mr Cox11 coverg a Copy of a Deed from Westcott12 to him for 73 Patents of Land of which 17 & ½ Tracts are my Property to be drawn by Lot which he says cannot be done untill some Gentlemen to whom they have sold a Part of the Lands (who are now absent from Philadelphia) Return there and offering to execute a Deed for my undivided Interest, but I wish if possible to have the Patents out of his Hands.13 My Angelica is not very well—she complains that her Throat is a little sore, I hope it will not be of long Duration. I think from the present Appearances you will not be long detain’d at Philadelphia, but be able to Return on Sunday or Monday. Adieu I am ever sincerely


J B Church

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1For background to this letter, see the introductory note to Oliver Wolcott, Jr., to H, July 3, 1797; “David Gelston’s Account of an Interview between Alexander Hamilton and James Monroe,” July 11, 1797.

On July 17, 1797, the following item appeared in the [Philadelphia] Aurora. General Advertiser: “Alexander Hamilton has favoured this city with a visit. He has certainly not come for the benefit of the fresh air.… Perhaps, however, he may have been called to town for the purpose of clearing up the mysterious business, which the 5th and 6th numbers of the History of the United States, just published, have brought to light.”

2Letter not found.

4Wolcott’s letter has not been found.

5This certificate, dated July 12, 1797, was Wolcott’s recollection of the events in November and December, 1792, concerning the “Reynolds Affair.” It is document No. XXIV in the appendix to the printed version of the “Reynolds Pamphlet,” August 25, 1797.

6Andrew G. Fraunces was a resident of New York City and a son of Samuel Fraunces, the erstwhile proprietor of Fraunces Tavern. He had been dismissed in March, 1793, from a clerkship in the Treasury Department and had returned to New York to open an office as a notary public. See Fraunces to H, May 16, 1793.

7John Fraunces.

8William B. Giles, a member of the House of Representatives from Virginia, had been one of H’s most outspoken critics when H was Secretary of the Treasury.

9William Findley was a Republican member of the House of Representatives from Pennsylvania.

11Tench Coxe.

13This sentence concerns the Church partnership with Coxe for the purchase of lands in Pennsylvania. See the introductory note to Coxe to H, February 13, 1795.

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