Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to Aaron Burr, 22 June 1804

To Aaron Burr

New York June 22d. 1804


Your first letter,1 in a style too peremptory, made a demand, in my opinion, unprecedented and unwarrantable. My answer,2 pointing out the embarrassment, gave you an opportunity to take a less exceptionable course. You have not chosen to do it, but by your last letter,3 received this day, containing expressions indecorous4 and improper, you have increased the difficulties to explanation, intrinsically incident to the nature of your application.

If by a “definite reply” you mean the direct avowal or disavowal required in your first letter, I have no other answer to give than that which has already been given. If you mean any thing different admitting of greater latitude, it is requisite you should explain.5

I have the honor to be   Sir   Your obed servt.

A Hamilton

Aaron Burr Esqr

ALS, New York State Historical Association, Cooperstown, New York; ADfS, New-York Historical Society, New York City.

4In the draft H first wrote and then crossed out the word “rude.”

5Instead of this paragraph, H first wrote in the draft and then crossed out: “I have no other reply to make than it remains for you to take such measures as shall appear to you expedient” and added the following note: “This clause and word indecorous substituted with the advice of Mr P——.”

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