Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to James Monroe, 4 August 1797

To James Monroe1

New York Aug 4. 1797


In my opinion the idea of a personal affair between us ought not to have found a place in your letters2 or it ought to have assumed a more positive shape. In the state to which our correspondence had brought the question, it lay with you to make the option whether such an issue should take place. If what you have said be intended as an advance towards it, it is incumbent upon me not to decline it. On the supposition that it is so intended I have authorised Major Jackson to communicate with you and to settle time and place.

I am Sir   Your Humble servant

James Monroe Esq

ADf, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress; copy, in Monroe’s handwriting, The Library, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

1This letter is document No. L in the appendix to the printed version of the “Reynolds Pamphlet,” August 25, 1797. For background to this letter, see the introductory note to Oliver Wolcott, Jr., to H, July 3, 1797.

2For the correspondence between H and Monroe, see Monroe to H, July, 17, 18, 20, 21, 25, 31, 1797; H to Monroe, July 17, 18, 20, 22, 28, 1797. See also William Jackson to H, July 24, 25, 31, 1797.

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