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Collection Reference Number GLC00012
From Archive Folder Documents Relating to 1780 
Title Alexander Hamilton to Francois Marquis de Barbé-Marbois about America's weakness
Date 12 October 1780
Author Hamilton, Alexander (ca. 1757-1804)  
Recipient Barbé-Marbois, François, Marquis de  
Document Type Correspondence
Content Description To Marbois, the secretary of the French Ambassador, who later served as Intendant of Santo Domingo and minister of finance under Napoleon, under whom he sold Louisiana to the U.S. Hamilton concludes his letter by agreeing with Marbois about America's "feebleness and temporary expedients" in military affairs; and notes that he views "our affairs in a gloomy light." Hamilton ends by mentioning rumors of a peace congress by the neutral powers at the Hague. (This may refer to the attempt by Catherine of Russia to mediate the dispute.) Place of writing supplied from Hamilton Papers.
Subjects Economics  France  Prisoner of War  Treaty  Global History and Civics  
People Hamilton, Alexander (ca. 1757-1804)  Barbé-Marbois, François, Marquis de (1745-1837)  
Place written Preakness, New Jersey
Theme The American Revolution; Foreign Affairs
Sub-collection The Gilder Lehrman Collection, 1493-1859
Additional Information Notes: Syrett, Papers of Alexander Hamilton, 2: 471-72. Hamilton had written to Barbé-Marbois 17 August concerning obtaining the release from prison of Barbé-Marbois's brothers. Compare Hamilton to Milton's description of Hell in Paradise Lost 1. 62-64: "…yet from those flames / No light, but rather darkness visible / Serv'd only to discover sights of woe…." Signer of the U.S. Constitution.
Copyright The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
Module Settlement, Commerce, Revolution and Reform: 1493-1859
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