Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from John Skey Eustace, [3 November 1798]

From John Skey Eustace1

Saturday Morning [New York, November 3, 1798]

Mr Eustace presents his compliments to general Hamilton, and sends him the packet for Col. P, which he permitted to be forwarded in this Way.2 The cover is left open, and the note on the first blank leaf of the book will serve as an advertisement; so that the general, in running over its contents, probably may be tempted (as he will certainly be enabled) to enforce some of the inferences, hastily drawn by the writer from the facts held forth—by a note or two on a separate paper, simply marked by a number indicative of the page it belongs to. This will be gratefully acknowledged; if therefore the general will peruse the private letter to Col. P. (sent some days ago) and join his influence to the writer’s entreaties for the adoption of the Queries contained in the printed letter (already forwarded)3 E. ventures to think much good may result to the Country. At any rate, if it is no more than threatened, as a future scourge of Gallicanism among us, even thus, in terrorem, no small advantage will accrue.

Mr. Eustace sincerely wishes general Hamilton a prompt apparition in the field of inspection—as this includes the great objects of personal and national concern and provides for that ample store of health which can alone produce this salutary effect, it is unnecessary to detail the compliments of usual salutation and validiction.

As the wish to serve as the extra aid-de-camp of general Hamilton was not officially conveyed, general Eustace now makes it a request, and would thank general Hamilton to accept his services, if they can be useful.

Major General Hamilton.

AL, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1For background to this letter, see Eustace to H, October 27, 1798.

2Timothy Pickering. A few days after Eustace wrote this letter, H left New York for Philadelphia to discuss plans for the Army with George Washington, James McHenry, and Charles Cotesworth Pinckney. See H to McHenry, November 9, 1798.

The “packet” contained extracts from Eustace’s articles in The New-York Gazette and General Advertiser on August 14, 22, 23, 24, 25, 27, 29, 31, September 1, 4, 6, 7, 11, 12, 1798, on the “Embassy of Mr. Monroe” and a “vindication” of Fulwar Skipwith, former United States consul general in France.

3On November 1, 1798, Eustace wrote to Pickering: “In compliance with the wish expressed in your favor of the 30th. October, I send you the printed Letter in a more connected and legible form than that of the news-paper. You will have the goodness, Sir, to return it when perused” (ALS, Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston).

The letter from Eustace to Pickering, dated September 13, 1798, was printed in installments in The New-York Gazette and General Advertiser on October 10, 11, 12, 13, 20, 24, 25, 1798. In the second part of an article defending Skipwith, Eustace wrote: “I propose, within a very short time, to present to the Secretary of State (through the medium of your paper) a simple Plan for obtaining from every American who has visited or sojourned in France, a detail of all the circumstances which tend to illustrate the Conduct of the French Regents, or Agents, and that of the Citizens of those States—so far as the Peace, the Honor, and the Safety of the Union are, or have been concerned. This will open a vast field for the exercise of their talents, in every possible line. Each, it may be presumed, will afford to our government all the information he really possesses (and this will enable us to ascertain the subjects and persons of which he is wholly ignorant): we shall then exhibit to our indignant and insulted Nation, a series of woes, and wrongs, of which they have even now but a very faint Idea …” (The New-York Gazette and General Advertiser, September 12, 1798).

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