He writes James A. Hamilton, son of Alexander Hamilton that he is sending documents to Europe, likely to seek information on European Trade
James Alexander Hamilton was the third son of famed Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, and named after Alexander’s father. During the War of 1812, he served as Aide de Camp to General Morgan Lewis. Although always solicitous of his father’s memory, he was an active member of the Democratic Party. In late 1827...
James Alexander Hamilton was the third son of famed Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, and named after Alexander’s father. During the War of 1812, he served as Aide de Camp to General Morgan Lewis. Although always solicitous of his father’s memory, he was an active member of the Democratic Party. In late 1827 he was sent as a delegate of the Tammany Society to the celebration of the anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans. He travelled to Andrew Jackson’s home near Nashville and stayed there a few days before going on with him to New Orleans. During this trip he gained Jackson’s confidence and friendship, and began the discussions that resulted in Jackson’s nomination and election to the presidency. Hamilton served as a member of Jackson’s Appointing Council, and drafted Jackson’s inaugural address. In March 1829, Hamilton served as acting Secretary of State, until Martin Van Buren could enter the office. In April 1830, Jackson named Hamilton U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, a post he held until 1833. In the crisis over rechartering the Bank of the United States, which Alexander Hamilton had been instrumental in bringing into being, the younger Hamilton sided with Jackson, opposing the recharter. It meant a lot to Jackson that Alexander Hamilton’s son was on his side on that issue.
In 1830, Jackson reversed one of the failures of the Adams administration, and negotiated a successful trade agreement with Great Britain that opened the British West Indies colonies to American merchant ships. Even after the treaty was signed, there were details to be attended to. Jackson was also working on a circular with instructions to be given by the U.S. Treasury Department to the Collectors, which circular was completed October 6. Meanwhile, while serving in the U.S. Attorney post, Hamilton continued to advise Jackson on financial, trade, and diplomatic matters. In September 1830, Hamilton received a letter from former Secretary of State Edward Livingston, who was moving onto a post as U.S. Minister to France, asking him to prepare a report to the President on trade with the German states. Hamilton immediately entered into the work, and in early November sent it to the President.
Autograph letter signed, as President, Washington, October 5, 1830, to Hamilton, thanking him for a gift, and referring to his diplomatic success with Britain, and his completion of the Treasury circular. ”Your letter with the slippers presented was recd two days ago, but we have been so busied with the dispatches opening the West India trade, some little difficulty having arisen in the mind of the Sec. of the Treasury on the subject of the instructions to the collectors, that no leisure was presented to me until now. We arranged this last evening, & I hope our return dispatch will reach New York in time for the packet on the 8th. I sincerely thank you for the solicitude you take with regard to my health, & have the pleasure to inform you that it has improved, although a little checked by a bad cold taken since my return to this city. It would afford us great pleasure to see you here. I have much to say to you, & some letters to show you, that might afford you some amusement, which would not be proper to submit in a letter. Major Donelson , Lewis, & my son all join in their respects to you, and believe me sincerely your friend, Andrew Jackson.”
As “packet” was the term then used to refer to transatlantic ships, and Hamilton was researching a paper relating to European trade, we speculate that Jackson is referring to a request he was making of U.S. diplomats abroad for information on Hamilton’s behalf, and hoping it will make the next boat.
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