Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Oliver Ellsworth, 16 October 1800

From Oliver Ellsworth

Havre Oct 16th. 1800

Dear Sir,

I enclose for your perusal, but by no means for publication, an extract of a letter I have just been writing for the Secretary of State.1

More could not be done than has been, without too great a sacrifice; and I hope, as the reign of Jacobinism in France is over, and appearances are strong in favour of a general peace, that you will think it was better to sign a Convention2 than to do nothing.

I am, dear Sir,   with respect & esteem,   your most obedient

Oliv. Ellsworth

General Hamilton


I will thank you at a convenient opportunity, to shew the enclosed extract to Govr. Jay & Judge Hobart.3

The unfavourable state of my health does not permit my return to America at this late Season of the year. After a few weeks spent in England I shall probably retire for winter quarters to the South of France.4

O E.

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1See Ellsworth, William R. Davie, and William Vans Murray to John Marshall, October 4, 1800 (ASP description begins American State Papers, Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States (Washington, 1832–1861). description ends , Foreign Relations, II, 342–43).

2The Convention of 1800 between the French Republic and the United States of America, signed at Paris, September 30, 1800, is also referred to as the Treaty of Môrtefontaine. Because of revisions in the convention, the commissioners signed it a second time on October 3, 1800, at the Chateau Môrtefontaine, which was Joseph Bonaparte’s country estate located eighteen miles north of Paris. See Miller, Treaties, II description begins Hunter Miller, ed., Treaties and Other International Acts of the United States of America (Washington, 1931), II. description ends , 484–85.

3John Sloss Hobart was United States judge for the District of New York from 1798 until his death in 1805.

4At the end of October, Ellsworth sailed for England and remained at Bath. He sailed for the United States in March, 1801, and arrived in Boston on May 5, 1801 ([Boston] Columbian Centinel. Massachusetts Federalist, May 6, 1801).

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