Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to Rufus King, 1 November 1798

To Rufus King

New York November 1. 1798

My Dear Sir

This will be delivered to you by Mr. Bruce, son of the Widow Bruce,1 both of whom you will no doubt recollect and that they are connections of our family. He goes to Europe to complete his studies in Medecine. Doctors Bard & Hosack2 with whom he has pursued them here speak handsomely of his qualifications & progress. He visits London in the first instance. Permit me to recommend him to your kindness. I have every reason to believe he is discreet intelligent and deserving.

I intend if I can to write you another letter by this opportunity—but lest I should be disappointed, I take occasion to assure of a careful attention to the private concern mentioned in one of your latest letters.3 Every thing that I know tends to your security & tranquillity in this respect.

Yrs. truly & affecy

A Hamilton

Rufus King Esq

ALS, New-York Historical Society, New York City.

1Archibald Bruce, son of William Bruce who was the head of the medical department of the British army stationed in New York during the American Revolution, was graduated from Columbia College in 1795. After five years in Europe he returned to the United States in 1803. In 1807 he was appointed professor of materia medica and minerology in the College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York City. Bruce’s mother was Judith Bayard Van Rensselaer Bruce. Her first husband, Jeremiah Van Rensselaer, was the brother of Catherine Van Rensselaer Schuyler, who was H’s mother-in-law.

2David Hosack had been a student of Samuel Bard and later became his partner. Hosack was professor of botany and materia medica at Columbia College. Bard, who had been professor of theory and practice and Dean of Faculty at Columbia College, retired in 1798.

Hosack and Bard were the Hamilton family’s physicians. See H’s Cash Book, 1795–1804, for entries under the dates of February 1, 1797, June 7, 1798, November 16, 1802, July 3, 1804 (AD, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress).

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