Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Timothy Pickering, 20 February 1799

From Timothy Pickering

Philadelphia Feby. 20. 1799

Dear Sir,

Since I wrote you on the 9th (which you acknowledge in a short letter,1 promising further communications) Dr. Stevens has been appointed Consul General of St. Domingo,2 and will probably embark before the close of next week. If you have written further to me in answer to my letter of the 9th the letter has miscarried, for I have recd. nothing. I must frame Dr. Stevens’s instructions in a few days,3 and wish to furnish him with your ideas on the points I stated.4 This cannot be done officially—but he will know how to use it.

I am very respectfully   & sincerely yours

T Pickering

Genl Hamilton

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

2Edward Stevens was one of H’s oldest and closest friends. The two men had known each other as young boys (H to Stevens, November 11, 1796). Stevens subsequently practiced medicine in Philadelphia, where he was H’s and Elizabeth Hamilton’s doctor when they had yellow fever (H to the College of Physicians, September 11, 1793). On February 16, 1799, John Adams nominated Stevens “to be Consul General of the United States, in the island of St. Domingo,” and the Senate approved the nomination on February 21, 1799 (Executive Journal, I description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate (Washington, 1828), I. description ends , 312, 316).

3Pickering’s instructions to Stevens are dated April 22, 1799 (copy, enclosed in Pickering to Adams, April 23, 1799 [ALS, Adams Family Papers, deposited in the Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston]).

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