5/1/14: US History: Letters from Jefferson & Hamilton

Jefferson:

Thomas Jefferson Letter to George Washington, 1792 (Modified)

DEAR SIR,

I received your letter of August 23rd.You note that there have been internal tensions in your administration. These tensions are of great concern to me. I wish that you should know the whole truth.

I have never tried to convince members of the legislature to defeat the plans of the Secretary of Treasury. I value too highly their freedom of judgment. I admit that I have, in private conversations, disapproved of the system of the Secretary of Treasury. However, this is because his system stands against liberty, and is designed to undermine and demolish the republic.

I would like for these tensions to fade away, and my respect for you is enough motivation to wait to express my thoughts until I am again a private citizen. At that point, however, I reserve the right to write about the issues that concern the republic.

I will not let my retirement be ruined by the lies of a man who history—if history stoops to notice him—will remember a person who worked to destroy liberty. –Still, I repeat that I hope I will not have to write such a thing.

I trust that you know that I am not an enemy to the republic, nor a waster of the country’s money, nor a traitor, as Hamilton has written about me.

In the meantime I am with great and sincere affection and respect, dear Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant.

Thomas Jefferson

Source: This letter was written by Thomas Jefferson to President George Washington on September 9, 1792. Jefferson was Secretary of State in Washington’s administration.

Hamilton:

Alexander Hamilton Letter to George Washington, 1792 (Modified)

Dear Sir,

I have received your letter of August 26th.I sincerely regret that you have been made to feel uneasy in your administration. I will do anything to smooth the path of your administration, and heal the differences, though I consider myself the deeply injured party.

I know that I have been an object of total opposition from Mr. Jefferson. I know from the most authentic sources, that I have been the frequent subject of most unkind whispers by him. I have watched a party form in the Legislature, with the single purpose of opposing me. I believe, from all the evidence I possess, that the National Gazette (a newspaper) was instituted by Jefferson for political purposes, with its main purpose to oppose me and my department.  

Nevertheless, I can truly say that, besides explanations to confidential friends, I never directly or indirectly responded to these attacks, until very recently.  

But when I saw that they were determined to oppose the banking system, which would ruin the credit and honor of the Nation, I considered it my duty to resist their outrageous behavior.

Nevertheless, I pledge my honor to you Sir, that if you shall form a plan to reunite the members of your administration, I will faithfully cooperate. And I will not directly or indirectly say or do a thing to cause a fight. I have the honor to remain

Sir, Your most Obedient and Humble servant

A Hamilton

Source: This letter was written by Alexander Hamilton to President George Washington on September 9, 1792. Hamilton was Secretary of the Treasury in Washington’s administration.

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