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to pickering - Alexander Hamilton, The Works of Alexander Hamilton, (Federal Edition), vol. 10 
The Works of Alexander Hamilton, ed. Henry Cabot Lodge (Federal Edition) (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904). In 12 vols. Vol. 10.
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Nov. 20, 1795.
My Dear Sir:
I duly received your letter of the 17th, which needed no apology as it will always give me pleasure to comply with any wish of yours connected with the public service, or your personal satisfaction.
Good men, in the idea of your appointment to the office of Secretary of State, will find many consolations for your removal from one in which your usefulness was well understood.
I wish it was easy to replace you in the department you will leave. But this is a most difficult point.
I consider it as absolutely necessary that the person shall come from some State south of Pennsylvania. All the great offices in the hands of men from Pennsylvania northward, would do the lord knows what mischief. I speak as to public opinion. Hence I forbear any remarks on characters from that quarter.
Of those South, notwithstanding there are real and weighty objections, I incline on the whole to Lee.1
Of the others whom you present (and none others have occurred to me), whose qualifications are known to me, I believe I should prefer Howard.2
Yet I speak with hesitation, for I am afraid he is not enough a man of sense or business. But he is of perfect worth, is respectable in the community, and has reputation as a soldier.
There are others who would stand better as to talents, but temper or fairness of character is wanted. I do not know enough of Winden.
Since writing the above, Judge Pendleton, of Georgia, has occurred to me. He was a military man, Aide to General Greene, and esteemed by him. He is certainly a man of handsome abilities. I have, however, within a few days, heard that he had some agency in the purchase of the Georgia lands. If he has had any interested concern in this transaction, it would be an immense objection. Otherwise, if he would accept, all things considered, I should prefer him. He is tinctured with Jeffersonian politics, but I should be mistaken if, among good men and better informed, he did not go right.
I have received the French copy of a certain paper, and thank you for it. The translation you mention has not yet come to hand. I will with pleasure revise, if requisite, and correct it. I even wish for the opportunity; for, as you say, it much concerns me, and it is also very important to the public, and there are many nice turns of expression, which, to be rendered perfectly, demand a very critical knowledge of the language.1
Henry Lee, of Virginia.
John Eagar Howard, a soldier of the Revolution, and Governor of Maryland. The Secretaryship of War was offered to him, and he declined.
Now first printed from the Pickering papers, in the possession of the Massachusetts Historical Society.