In which Hamilton discusses holiday plans with his son.
The following letter is from Alexander Hamilton to his son 9-year-old son Philip, who was at school in Trenton. Hamilton was at this time in Philadelphia, serving as secretary of the Treasury. His Report on the Subject of Manufactures is signed with the same date as this letter, December 5, 1791.
This is a bit shorter.
Philadelphia December 5, 1791
I received with great pleasure My Dear Philip the letter which you wrote me last week. Your Mama and myself were very happy to learn that you are pleased with your situation and content to stay as long as shall be thought for your good. We hope and believe that nothing will happen to alter this disposition.
Your Master also informs me that you recited a lesson the first day you began, very much to his satisfaction. I expect every letter from him will give me a fresh proof of your progress. For I know that you can do a great deal, if you please, and I am sure you have too much spirit not to exert yourself, that you may make us every day more and more proud of you.
Your Mama has got an Ovid for you and is looking up your Mairs introduction. If it cannot be found tomorrow another will be procured and the books with the other articles she promised to send you will be forwarded in two or three days.
You remember that I engaged to send for you next Saturday and I will do it, unless you request me to put it off. For a promise must never be broken; and I never will make you one, which I will not fulfil as far as I am able. But it has occurred to me that the Christmas holidays are near at hand, and I suppose your school will then break up for some days and give you an opportunity of coming to stay with us for a longer time than if you should come on Saturday. Will it not be best for you, therefore, to put off your journey till the holidays? But determine as you like best and let me know what will be most pleasing to you.
A good night to my darling son. Adieu
A Hamilton (More here)
- I’ve started adding comments based on these blog posts to the Genius.com pages on the Hamilton Musical: a fantastic resource. Follow me @DianneDurante.
- The usual disclaimer: This is the forty-ninth in a series of posts on Hamilton: An American Musical. My intro to this series is here. Other posts are available via the tag cloud at lower right. If you’ve read this far and enjoyed it, why not sign up to hear about future installments? Follow me on Twitter @NYCsculpture, friend the Forgotten Delights page on Facebook, or ask to be added to my mailing list (email DuranteDianne@gmail.com), which will get you a weekly email with some bonus comments. Bottom line: these are unofficial musings, and you do not need them to enjoy the musical or the soundtrack.
- Want wonderful art delivered weekly to your inbox? Members of my free Sunday Recommendations list (email DuranteDianne@gmail.com) receive three art-related suggestions every week: check out my favorites from last year’s recommendations. For more goodies, check out my Patreon page.