Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from James McHenry, 4 December 1801

From James McHenry1

Baltimore 4 Decr. 1801.

My dear Sir

I sincerely condole with Mrs. Hamilton and you on the loss which you have sustained in the death of your beloved son Philip. I can well conceive of the distress this event has occasioned, and the tender recollections that his memory must long continue to excite. I lost my eldest child, a daughter,2 after she had discovered whatever can promise to flattter parental expectations. Is there ought in this world can console for such losses, and who shall dare to hope that he is to pass through it without tasting a portion of its afflictions?

Col. Rogers3 will deliver you this letter of condolence. He is my intimate friend, and one of our best and worthiest citizens. Receive him I request you as such, and believe me to be your sympathising and affectionate


Alexander Hamilton Esqr.

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

1For background to this letter, see Benjamin Rush to H, November 26, 1801.

2McHenry’s oldest child, Grace, was born on November 2, 1784, and died on March 24, 1789.

3Nicholas Rogers, a native of France, held the rank of major in the Continental Army during the American Revolution and served as aide-de-camp to General Baron de Kalb. On December 10, 1778, when he retired from the Army, he was brevetted a lieutenant colonel. When the letter printed above was written, he was living in Baltimore.

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