Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to John Jay, 24 April 1798

To John Jay

New York April 24. 1798

Dr. Sir

I have received your two favours of the 19th instant. I feel as I ought the mark of confidence they announce. But I am obliged by my situation to decline the appointment. This situation you are too well acquainted with to render it necessary for me to enter into explanation. There may arrive a crisis when I may conceive myself bound once more to sacrifice the interest of my family to public call. But1 I must defer the change as long as possible.

I do not at present think of a person to recommend as adapted to the emergency. I shall reflect & consult and write you by the next post. This, the first day, is not decisive of our election here;2 but there is as yet nothing to discourage. With respect & attachment,

I remain Dr. Sir   Yr. Obed serv

A Hamilton

Governor Jay

ADfS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1At this point, H wrote and then crossed out: “the period is not yet.”

2H is referring to the elections for representatives to the Sixth Congress, which by the provisions of “An Act for electing representatives for this state in the house of representatives of the Congress of the United States of America” were scheduled to begin on the last Tuesday in April (New York Laws, 20th Sess., Ch. LXII [March 28, 1797]). The canvassing of votes for congressional representatives began on June 13, 1798 (Gazette of the United States, and Philadelphia Daily Advertiser, June 14, 1798). The canvassing of votes for the state offices of governor, lieutenant governor, and senators began on May 29, 1798 (Gazette of the United States, and Philadelphia Daily Advertiser, May 30, 1798).

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