Correspondence of the American Revolution: Being Letters of Eminent Men to George Washington, from the Time of His Taking Command of the Army to the End of His Presidency, Vol. 3

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Author: Alexander Hamilton

U.S. History

From Colonel Hamilton.

Philadelphia, 1 March, 1782.

SIR,

Your Excellency will, I am persuaded, readily admit the force of this sentiment, that though it is the duty of a good citizen to devote his services to the public, when it has occasion for them, he cannot, with propriety or delicacy to himself, obtrude them, when it either has, or appears to have, none. The difficulties I experienced last campaign in obtaining a command, will not suffer me to make any further application on that head.

As I have many reasons to consider my being employed hereafter in a precarious light, the bare possibility of rendering an equivalent will not justify to my scruples the receiving any future emoluments from my commission. I therefore renounce, from this time, all claim to the compensations attached to my military station during the war, or after it. But I have motives which will not permit me to resolve on a total resignation. I sincerely hope a prosperous train of affairs may continue to make it no inconvenience to decline the services of persons whose zeal, in worse times, was found not altogether useless; but, as the most promising appearances are often reversed by unforeseen disasters, and as unfortunate events may again make the same zeal of some value, I am unwilling to put it out of my power to renew my exertions in the common cause in the line in which I have hitherto acted. I shall accordingly retain my rank while I am permitted to do it, and take this opportunity to declare, that I shall be at all times [ready] to obey the call of the public, in any capacity, civil or military (consistent with what I owe to myself), in which there may be a prospect of my contributing to the final attainment of the object for which I embarked in the service. I have the honor to be, very respectfully,

Your Excellency’s most obedient servant,

ALEXANDER HAMILTON.

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Chicago: Alexander Hamilton, "From Colonel Hamilton.," Correspondence of the American Revolution: Being Letters of Eminent Men to George Washington, from the Time of His Taking Command of the Army to the End of His Presidency, Vol. 3 in Correspondence of the American Revolution: Being Letters of Eminent Men to George Washington, from the Time of His Taking Command of the Army to the End of His Presidency, ed. Jared Sparks (Freeport, NY: Books for Libraries Press, 1853), 488–489. Original Sources, accessed January 20, 2020, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=48PQS8UWKFDB2JN.

MLA: Hamilton, Alexander. "From Colonel Hamilton." Correspondence of the American Revolution: Being Letters of Eminent Men to George Washington, from the Time of His Taking Command of the Army to the End of His Presidency, Vol. 3, in Correspondence of the American Revolution: Being Letters of Eminent Men to George Washington, from the Time of His Taking Command of the Army to the End of His Presidency, edited by Jared Sparks, Vol. 3, Freeport, NY, Books for Libraries Press, 1853, pp. 488–489. Original Sources. 20 Jan. 2020. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=48PQS8UWKFDB2JN.

Harvard: Hamilton, A, 'From Colonel Hamilton.' in Correspondence of the American Revolution: Being Letters of Eminent Men to George Washington, from the Time of His Taking Command of the Army to the End of His Presidency, Vol. 3. cited in 1853, Correspondence of the American Revolution: Being Letters of Eminent Men to George Washington, from the Time of His Taking Command of the Army to the End of His Presidency, ed. , Books for Libraries Press, Freeport, NY, pp.488–489. Original Sources, retrieved 20 January 2020, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=48PQS8UWKFDB2JN.