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to theodore sedgwick - 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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to theodore sedgwick
February 26, 1797.
My Dear Sir:
The present inimitable course of our public affairs proves me to be a very bad politician, so that I am afraid to suggest any idea that occurs to me. Yet I will give over my timidity and communicate for your consideration a reverie which has struck me.
It is a fact that the resentment of the French Government is very much levelled at the actual President. A change of the person (however undesirable in other respects) may give a change to the passion, and may also furnish a bridge to retreat over. This is a great advantage to a new president, and the most ought to be made out of it. For it is much our interest to preserve peace, if we can with honor, and if we cannot, it will be very important to prove that no endeavor to do it has been omitted.
Were I Mr. Adams, then, I believe I should begin my presidency by naming an extraordinary commission to the French republic, and I think it would consist of three persons: Mr. Madison, Mr. Pinckney, and Mr. Cabot. I should pursue this course for several reasons, because I would have a man as influential with the French as Mr. Madison, yet I would not trust him alone, lest his Gallicism should work amiss, because I would not wound Mr. Pinckney, so recently sent in the same spirit; thirdly, I think Cabot would mix very useful ingredients in the cup.
The commission should be charged to make explanations, to remonstrate, to ask indemnification, and they should be empowered to make a new treaty of commerce, not inconsistent with our other treaties, and perhaps to abrogate or remodify the treaty of alliance.
That treaty can only be inconvenient to us in the future. The guaranty of our sovereignty and independence henceforth is nominal. The guaranty of the West India Islands of France, as we advance in strength, will be more and more real. In future, and in a truly defensive war, I think we shall be bound to comply efficaciously with our guaranty. Nor have I been able to see that it means less than obligation to take part in such a war with our whole force. I have no idea of treaties which are not executed.
Hence, I want to get rid of that treaty by mutual consent, or liquidate its meaning to a treaty of definite succor, in a clearly defensive war; so many men, so many ships, so much money, and to be furnished by one ally to the other. This, of course, must be so managed as to exclude unequivocally the present war in all its possible mutations. The idea of a definite duration would also be useful.
Such objects are important enough for three. In executive matters, I am as little fond as most people of plurality, but I think it pedantry to admit no exceptions to any general rule, and I believe, under the present circumstances of the case, a commission would be advisable. I give my dream of it as it occurred; you will do with it what you please.
The idea here given, to be useful ought to be executed at once. The Senate should not be permitted to disperse.