George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Alexander Hamilton, 21 November 1796

Philadelphia 21st Novr 1796.

My dear Sir

Having written to you on Saturday the 11th instant (accompanying it with enclosures) without hearing any thing from you in the course of last week, or by the Mail of this day, I begin to have some uneasy Sensations for the fate of my letter—To this cause, & to my solicitatude to have the Papers returned, you must ascribe the trouble of receiving this letter.

If my last got safe to your hands, and indisposition, business, or any other cause should have prevented your looking into the Papers, I wish, even under these circumstances, that they may be returned to me immediately; as I have no copies, and have but little time to digest, and to put the several matters therein contained, into form, that the whole may be revised again & again, before it is presented—Among these Papers do not forget to place Sir John Sinclairs Letter to me, as I am desirous of giving it an acknowledgment.

You will perceive by the publication of Mr Adets letter to Colo. Pickering (in Claypools Gazette of this date) that the French government are disposed to play a high game—If other proofs were wanting, the time, and indelicate mode & stile of the present attack on the Executive, exhibited in this laboured performance—which is as unjust as it is voluminous—would leave no doubt as to the primary object it had in view—but what consequences it may ultimately produce, is not so accessible to human foresight as it may depend on various contingencies & events—I have not seen the writer since my return to this City—nor is it presumable I shall do it under present circumstances unless it was to be courted on my part.

The letter of Mr Adet’s having been committed toMr Bache by him—Extracts having alreadypublished from it—and other parts promised to be eked out, as would subserve, I presume, the purposes in view, induced an opinion that it was best to give the entire letter to the public from authority, and without delay that the well informed part of the community might judge for themselves.

The necessity of bringing the matter fully before Congress is now rendered indispensible—and through that medium it is presumed it will make its way to the Public, with proper explanations. I am as you know me to be, always, and sincerely Your Affectionate

Go: Washington

P.S. Since writing the foregoing your letter of the 19th with its enclosures have been sent to me—accept my thanks for them.

On account of the other matters contained in this letter, I forward it—being written—Your sentiments in this interesting crisis will always be thankfully received.

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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