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Art. LIII.

A Letter to General Hamilton, occa-
sioned by his Letter to President
Adams. By a
Federalist. 8vo. pp. 8.

THE letter of General Hamil-
ton does not appear to us un-
answerable; and we are surprised
that no one, of competent abilities
and information, has yet replied in
a manner worthy the subject. The
controversy, however, is in many
respects of a disagreeable kind, in-
volving many considerations of a
personal and delicate nature.

Men of liberal and patriotic minds
are willing that a contest which
(whatever be its merits) will, in
some degree, tarnish the lustre of
characters in general excellent and
respectable, should sink into obli-

Those who are best able to do

justice to the parties and to the sub-
ject, are, perhaps, restrained by
political or personal motives from
publishing their opinions.

None appear to have entered the
field in defence of Mr. Adams but
those who are enemies to his cause,
and who wish to inflame the quar-
rels of its leaders, or men who
imagine that ardour and zeal will
atone for every defect, and that
blustering is courage, and contra-
diction, argument.

The writer of the present letter
charges Mr. H. as being the author of
the late military system, so odious and
unpopular, and as deficient in judg-
ment, and void of discretion. While
he vindicates him, however, from
the imputation of being a partizan
of Great-Britain, he casts that odium
on some of the ministers and ad-
of the President, whose wis-
and discretion have been less

The “Federalist” thinks Mr.
H. has told but half the story, and is
willing to supply his deficiencies.
The following facts, related by him,
appear the most interesting to those
who wish to search into the secret
causes of political measures:

“Two important measures, one of
which was adopted, and the other con-
templated, as early as the year 1798,
excited no small surprise and disgust
among federal men, and induced some
of the most zealous defenders of the go-
vernment to withdraw their support.
One of these was to propose a treaty, of-
fensive and defensive, or, at least, defensive,
with Great-Britain. To this measure you ob-
I remark this to do you justice,
and to vindicate you from the calumny
of your personal enemies, who hold you
up as a partizan of Great-Britain.
“But many influential characters, some
of them in the government, were zeal-
ously engaged in this interest; and, among
them, the late Secretary of State, who
expressed his surprise that no attempt
had been made by our government to
bring about such a treaty. And it is a
fact that the British minister intimated a
wish to receive a proposition for this
purpose from our government.

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“On the other hand, most of the in-
fluential characters in the northern
States were opposed to the measure;
among these was the present Chief Jus-
tice of the United States, who took oc-
casion to express his disapprobation to
some gentlemen in the government.
“These facts are stated on the au-
thority of the gentlemen concerned.
“This measure was defeated in em-
bryo; but it may be proper to state some
facts of less consequence, that seem to
relate to the subject.
“So early as the year 1797, William
Cobbett, alias Peter Porcupine, propos-
ed and urged an offensive treaty between
the United States and Great-Britain.
From the character of that man, it was
not generally suspected that he could be
an agent of the British ministry; or, if
suspected by the opposers of government,
the suspicion was repelled by the friends
of government, who rejoiced to find in
him, though a foreigner, a decided op-
poser of the disorganizing principles

which were overrunning Europe and
“The moment, however, that that
writer proposed a treaty, some federal
men suspected his views, and decidedly
opposed him, though at the hazard of a
torrent of abuse from that blackguard
and some Americans. It is now ascer-
tained that Porcupine was an agent of the
British ministry, and corresponded with
the under Secretaries of State.—This
information was communicated to the
President last spring, soon after which
that hireling left the country. But it is
a known fact that he had won over to
his interest the government paper of the
United States; that through that paper
the President was abused and villified,
even while it was the medium of official
communications—and the then editor is
still Cobbett's agent in America.”

With this extract, we dismiss this
brief and incorrect production.

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