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James A[lexander] Hamilton to MVB, 20 December 1828

My Dear Sir:

I received your letter and disposed of the one enclosed as you directed. Your offer to appoint me one of your aids, I consider a very flattering mark of your attention, and as such, I thank you for it with all my heart; but I cannot allow you, my dear friend, from your disposition to gratify me, so to use this honor which may and ought to be disposed of with much advantage to yourself. You must select a gentleman in this city who is the focus of a large circle of friends, all of whom will be devoted to you, by this honor conferred upon him. From these circumstances I have determined not to accept your offer, unless by doing so you can receive the same advantage, which is impossible from the relation all connected with me stand in towards you. After your letter was received, I turned the matter in my mind, and have hit upon the son of Brockholst Livingston as a person uniting the advantage of talents and knowledge (as I am told, for I do not know him), with a large fortune. He is a single man, and has just returned from abroad. His father, Brockholst Livingston, was a distinguished republican in the great struggle, and his grandfather, Governor Livingston, was a decided Whig, and patriot of the Revolution. I know what you will say as to the name. By this selection, you would thus gratify them all together, with the Ludlows, the Carrolls, Bogerts, several Easton families, who are on terms of great intimacy with his sister (a very clever and talking woman), Mrs. Ledyard—the McVickars, Jays, and Constables, with very many young men, who are pleased with him and his manner of living. If you think well of this, I will take care that an application should be made to you for the place. I need not say to you, my dear sir, that in all these matters such a course must be pursued, as a prudent regard to your interests may dictate; and under this feeling alone, I act on this occasion.

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Source: Hamilton, <em>Reminiscences of James A. Hamilton</em>
Collection: N/A
Series: Series 5 (1 January 1825-3 March 1829)