Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to Pierre Charles L’Enfant, [20 March 1798]

To Pierre Charles L’Enfant1

[New York, March 20, 1798]

Dr. Sir

On my return from Albany,2 I received a letter3 referring to one4 I sometime since received from you. I am ashamed to tell you that the extreme pressure of my engagements has hindered my attending hitherto to your wish. I shall in the course of this week pay such attention to it as my relative situation permits, guided by a real desire to be useful to you.

Yrs. with regard

A Hamilton

Major L’Enfant.

ALS, Digges-L’Enfant Morgan Collection, Library of Congress.

1L’Enfant was a French volunteer in the Corps of Engineers during the American Revolution. In order to provide adequate accommodation for the new Federal Government in New York City, its temporary seat, L’Enfant was commissioned to convert City Hall on Wall Street into Federal Hall. He was hired to plan the new Federal City, but because of a dispute with the commissioners of the Federal District, he stopped working on this project in February, 1792. In July, 1792, the directors of the Society for Establishing Useful Manufactures hired L’Enfant to lay out the society’s manufacturing center in Paterson, New Jersey. In April, 1794, he was appointed temporary engineer at Fort Mifflin on Mud Island in the Delaware River.

2An entry in H’s Cash Book, 1795–1804, under the date of March, 1798, reads: “Expences Dr. for journey to Albany & back 40” (AD, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress). H had been in Albany, among other reasons, for the case of Louis Le Guen v Isaac Gouverneur and Peter Kemble. For this case and H’s part in it, see Goebel, Law Practice description begins Julius Goebel, Jr., ed., The Law Practice of Alexander Hamilton: Documents and Commentary (New York and London, 1964– ). description ends , II, 48–164.

3Letter not found.

4Letter not found.

Index Entries