James Alexander Hamilton to MVB, 1 January 1829

[James Alexander Hamilton] to MVB, 1 January 1829


New York

My dear Sir.

I would have enclosed Lewis' letter to you in my last but as I intended to have sent it by a private conveyance on Board the Steam Boat to Hudson I feared it might be lost I now send it to you. Be so good as to return it to me when you have done with it and instruct me as to what I am to write to Lewis. I consider the application to you highly undesirous and I am <free> to th say that altho Lee has talents and knowledge and a style (altho ^not un-^ exceptionable) which would make him useful in that place that there are other <facets> in his character which render him wholly unfit for it I will state them freely should you require me to do so. In addition to these considerations the confidential association implied by the selection and which necessarily belongs to it would be very injurious to you in the opinions of ^the^ high minded men in Virginia and ^of^ reputable people elsewhere who know his history. I assure you I regret ^that^ I am compelled to say this much because I like Lee as a companion & I have no doubt he would render me any service in his power. Having said this much I am required to add that from your conversations with me as to my future course I have taken the impression perhaps induced by my vanity very erroneously that you designed in the event of your appointment to offer this place to me Indulging such a belief whether correctly or not I am equally bound by a regard to my own character to say that my remark[s] in regards ^as^ to Lee are not in the slightest degree influenced by that consideration Indeed as soon as I read Lewis's letter I determined that if such was your intention and if I should be induced by the strong desire I feel to be near to you during the highly interesting subsequent period to abandon my intention of going abroad that this application for my aid would almost forbid me to take the place

Thus my friend without danger or being restrained by false delicacy I give you my <illegible> all my thoughts In the fullest confidence that you will <illegible> ^Justly^ appreciate them

I wish you [. . .] with all [. . .]

How do you [. . .] your letters [. . .] you secr[. . .] or are those which are private so <denigrated> on the <illegible>.

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