Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Theodore Sedgwick, 17 December 1800

From Theodore Sedgwick

Washington 17. Decr. 1800.

Dear Sir

The substance of the convention with France will I presume be known, publickly, in a few days.1 In the mean time I communicate, in confidence, some part of its character. It contains no stipulation for satisfaction of the injuries we have received. It makes the treaty of 78 a subject of future negotiation.2 It engages that we shall return, in the condition they now are, all ⟨ou⟩r captures.3 It makes nutral bottoms a protection to their ⟨c⟩argoes4 —and it contains a stipulation,5 directly, in violation ⟨of⟩ the 25th. Arte. of our treaty with G. B.6 Such are the blessed ⟨e⟩ffects of our mission—these are the ripened fruits of this independent administration. Our friends in the Senate are not enough recovered from their astonishment to begin to reflect on the course they shall persue.7 After this information it will be needless to add that the mind as well as body of Mr. Ellsworth are rendered feeble by disease. He has resigned as Ch. Juse.8

The votes in Georgia are given equally for Jefferson & Burr.9 It is generally supposed they will be so in Kentucky & Tennessee. This has rendered the Jacobins in the House more civil in their attentions than I have ever known them. Should the house have to decide between these rivals my opinion would prefer the former,10 for reasons which will readily occur to you. In this many of my friends differ from me. They suppose that Burr, if prefered, will be compelled to throw him self into the hands of the Federal party.

Ever yours

Theodore Sedgwick

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

2For the text of Article II of the Convention of 1800 (Treaty of Môrtefontaine), see Otis to H, December 17, 1800, note 3.

3For the text of Article III of the convention, see Otis to H, December 17, 1800, note 4.

4Article XIV of the convention provided that free ships make free goods (Miller, Treaties, II description begins Hunter Miller, ed., Treaties and Other International Acts of the United States of America (Washington, 1931), II. description ends , 468).

5For the text of Article VI of the convention, see Ellsworth to H, October 16, 1800, note 2.

8See Ellsworth to John Adams, October 16, 1800 (ALS, Adams Family Papers, deposited in the Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston).

9For information concerning the presidential campaign of 1800, see the introductory note to H to Theodore Sedgwick, May 4, 1800.

10For the vote in the House of Representatives in the election of 1800, see H to Oliver Wolcott, Jr., December 16, 1800, note 1.

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