Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, 11 April 1800

From Charles Cotesworth Pinckney

Cantonment at Harpers Ferry [Virginia]
April 11th 1800.


I duly received your favour of the 27th Ultimo.1 The enclosed copy of a letter from me to Coll. Josiah Parker of Congress will shew you the present situation of Capt. Blackburn. From his (Coll. P’s) letter you will find an application made to me relative to Capn. Sparkes and my reference to you.2

I remain with great respect & esteem   your most obedt. Servt.

Charles Cotesworth Pinckney

Honble Major Genl. Hamilton.

LS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1This letter, which is listed in the appendix to this volume, enclosed a copy of a letter from Major Mahlon Ford of the First Regiment of Artillerists and Engineers, which was sent to H by mistake and should have been addressed to Pinckney. For this letter see Ford to H, April 4, 1799.

2There are two enclosures to this letter. They are Josiah Parker to Pinckney, March 27, 1800; Pinckney to Parker, April 11, 1800. Both are copies and both are in the Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress. Parker, a veteran of the American Revolution, was a member of the House of Representatives from Virginia from 1789 to 1801.

In his letter to Pinckney, Parker wrote: “I took the liberty to request a favour of you for my friend Capt [Richard S.] Blackburn, since which I have received a letter from my old friend Governor Sevier requesting that his Son in law Capt [Richard] Sparkes [of the Third Regiment of Infantry] may be permitted to remain in Tennessee.… It would be good policy to indulge this request, if any Troops are to be left there, as Sevier is much attached to the President, and to our administration owing in some measure to a friendly correspondence with me, and if it lays within his power, he will federalize that State, and Sparks may and will aid him.…”

John Sevier, who was originally from North Carolina, moved to the frontier in 1773 and became a land speculator and Indian fighter. He commanded a group of volunteers at the Battle of King’s Mountain in 1780, and from 1785 to 1788 he was governor of the “state” of Franklin. He also served one term in the House of Representatives from 1789 to 1791.

In his reply to Parker, Pinckney wrote that Blackburn was already under arrest and facing court-martial and that there was little that could be done at this point to assist him. He also wrote that only H could give orders concerning the place where Sparks would be stationed.

For H’s orders concerning Sparks, see H to Pinckney, April 8, 1799.

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