Mar 10, 2020 - Sale 2533

Sale 2533 - Lot 120

Price Realized: $ 10,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 5,000 - $ 7,500
HAMILTON, ALEXANDER. Observations on Certain Documents . . . in which the Charge of Speculation against Alexander Hamilton . . . is Fully Refuted, Written by Himself. 37, lviii pages. 8vo, disbound; moderate foxing and toning, minor dampstaining; uncut; faint early pencil inscription on title page. Philadelphia: "Pro Bono Publico" [William Duane], 1800

Additional Details

Unauthorized second edition of Hamilton's tawdry sex scandal confession. The 1797 first edition was Hamilton's awkward attempt to clear his name after a year-long affair with a young married woman named Maria Reynolds. Her husband James demanded regular blackmail payments. Hamilton's enemy Thomas Jefferson started to leak the story of the affair in 1797. At this point Hamilton realized that the only way to protect his professional reputation would be to lay it out for public consumption. This pamphlet includes his correspondence with James and Maria Reynolds, as well as later correspondence with Adams and Monroe. It demonstrated that Hamilton was innocent of corruption--but also a cheating scoundrel.
The first edition was suppressed by his family because of its embarrassing contents. The present edition was produced three years later as a close reprint with no additional commentary, in an effort to embarrass Hamilton (and his Federal Party) with his own words. "This edition was printed at the Aurora office by the political enemies of Hamilton"--Ford, Hamiltoniana 65. Evans 37571; Howes H120; Sabin 29970.