Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from James McHenry, 1 December 1800

From James McHenry

Baltimore 1 Decr. 1800

My dear Hamilton.

What is past and cannot be amended between friends had better be forgotten. Let it be so if you please. I am content.1

I have since your last2 reflected upon the policy & necessity of your replying to the answers to your animadversions on the character & conduct of the President, and incline to beleive that it would be wiser to suspend, for the present any further publication on the subject.

Until all the answers appear can a Judgment be formed whether a reply to all or any of them is expedient? Until Mr Adams shall display himself more fully on the contents of your letter must not any answer be defective and premature? You will also perceive, that there is not the least chance, at the present moment of your making a new or more forcible impression on the public mind. Besides, what object is to be obtained? It cannot prevent his election and may work no good to yourself in the public mind. On the whole I should advise a suspension. Mr Wolcott is also of the same opinion.

Mr Wolcott writes me, “I will find out the state of things, the substance of the two letters by the President written when minister in England, and if I can will comply with your request.”3

Our electors are 5 and 5. and it is not improbable but influence will be exerted to have one vote at least of these five abstracted from Gen Pinckney.4

Yours always

James McHenry

Alexr Hamilton Esq

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress; ADfS, James McHenry Papers, Library of Congress.

3Oliver Wolcott, Jr., to McHenry, November 26, 1800 (Gibbs, Wolcott description begins George Gibbs, Memoirs of the Administrations of Washington and John Adams: Edited from the Papers of Oliver Wolcott, Secretary of the Treasury (New York, 1846). description ends , II, 447–48). See also H to McHenry, November 13, 22, 1800; McHenry to H, November 19, 1800.

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