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ry. To that interesting contribution to the stores of American history, these “Papers” may, in fact, be deemed an Appendix. They will be found to illustrate the careful research, and prove the accuracy, of the Biographer. The Editor is indebted to the kindness of J. C. Hamilton, Esq., for some few of the papers contained in this volume : the residue were in the collection of Mrs. Hamilton; and some of them have never before been printed. The succeeding volumes, containing matter that increases in interest as we advance, will be published with as little delay as
possible. F. L. HAWKS.
May 1, 1842.
P A PERS
A LE X A N DE R H A MILTO N.
“In the autumn of seventeen hundred and sixty-nine, he [Hamilton] was placed in the counting house of Mr. Nicholas Cruger, an opulent merchant, and most worthy man, then residing at Santa Cruz.
“His aptitude in conforming himself to his situation was such, and his advancement so rapid in the confidence of his respected principal, that before he reached his fourteenth year he was left by Mr. Cruger, who made a visit to the American continent, at the head of his extensive establishment.”—Life of Hamilton, by his Son: p. 4–5, vol. 1.
We subjoin a few of the letters written during this period, as illustrative of the facility with which Mr. Hamilton's mind mastered any subject to which he chose to direct its powers.—[Editor.]
TO EDWARD STEVENS.*
St. CRoix, Nov. 11, 1769.
This serves to acknowledge the receipt of yours, per Capt. Lowndes, which was delivered me yesterday. The truth of Captains Lightbowen and Lowndes’ information is now verified by the presence of your father and sister, for whose safe arrival I pray, and that they may convey that satisfaction to your soul that must naturally flow from the sight of absent friends in health; and shall, for news this way, refer you to them. As to what you say respecting your soon having the happiness of seeing us all, I wish for an accomplishment of your hopes, provided they are concomitant with your welfare, otherwise not; though doubt whether I shall be present or not, for to confess my weakness, Ned, my ambition is prevalent, so that I contemn the grovelling condition of a clerk or the like, to which my fortune condemns me, and would willingly risk my life, though not my character, to exalt my station. I am confident, Ned, that my youth excludes me from any hopes of immediate preferment, nor do I desire it; but I mean to prepare the way for futurity. I’m no philosopher, you see, and may be justly said to build castles in the air; my folly makes me ashamed, and beg you'll conceal it; yet, Neddy, we have seen such schemes successful when the projector is constant. I shall conclude by saying, I wish there was a war.
* This letter was written by Hamilton before he had reached the age of thirteen.
P. S. I this moment received yours by William Smith, and am pleased to see you give such close application to study.
TO NICHOLAS CRUGER. ST. CRoix, Oct. 31, 1771. Expecting that Capt. Codwise would have sailed two days ago, I had already wrote and delivered my letters to him, but the arrival of Capt. Lowndes furnishes me with something more to say. By him I received sundry letters; one from Mr. Henry Cruger, and several from Henry Cruger, Jr., of Bristol, one from Mr. John Cruger, one from Mr. John Harris Cruger, which are all copies and have been answered, except one of the 24th of June. I now enclose it to you with an abstract of your last letter to him, which perhaps will be requisite in returning an answer. I also send you the owner's last letter now arrived, and a list of the bills; all the protests for non-acceptance have come to hand. In Mr. John Harris Cruger's letter, he says that he will remit Mr. Tileman Cruger for his one-third part of the
sloop's first cargo of mules, and should depend upon your honor for the other two, being £400 in advance for you, exclusive of your part of the cargo out; I, therefore, just enclose a little state of matters between you, that you might be able more clearly to convince him of his mistake, there is nothing in the other letters that require or will even admit of an answer from me especially, as you will be on the spot: in fact their contents are of but little consequence.
To TILEMAN CRUGER, ESQ.
St. CRoix, Nov. 16, 1771.
In behalf of Mr. Nicholas Cruger, (who, by reason of a very ill state of health, went from this to New York, the 15th ult.,) I have the pleasure to address you by the long expected sloop Thunderbolt, Capt. William Newton, owned by Messrs. Jacob Walton, John Harris, and Nicholas Cruger, the latter of whom has written you fully concerning her destination, which I need not repeat. She has on board besides a parcel of lumber for yourself, sundry articles on account of her owners as per enclosed bill lading; and, when you have disposed of them, you will please to credit each partner for one-third of the proceeds.