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to timothy 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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to timothy pickering
March 17, 1798.
I make no apology for offering you my opinion on the present state of our affairs.
I look upon the question before the public as nothing less than whether we shall maintain our independence; and I am prepared to do it in every event, and at every hazard. I am therefore of opinion that our Executive should come forth on this basis.
I wish to see a temperate, but grave, solemn, and firm communication from the President to the two houses on the result of the advices from our commissioners; this communication to review summarily the course of our affairs with France from the beginning to the present moment; to advert to her conduct towards the neutral powers generally, dwelling emphatically on the last decree respecting vessels carrying British manufactures, as an unequivocal act of hostility against all of them; to allude to the dangerous and vast projects of the French government; to consider her refusal to receive our ministers as a virtual denial of our independence, and as evidence that, if circumstances favor the plan, we shall be called to defend that independence, our political institutions, and our liberty, against her enterprises; to conclude, that leaving still the door to accommodation open, and not proceeding to final rupture, our duty, our honor, and safety, require that we shall take vigorous and comprehensive measures of defence, adequate to the immediate protection of our commerce, to the security of our ports, and to our eventual defence in case of invasion, and with a view to these great objects, calling forth and organizing all the resources of the country. I would, at the same time, have the President to recommend a day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer. The occasion renders it proper, and religious ideas will be useful. I have this last measure at heart.
The measures to be advocated by our friends in Congress to be these:
In my opinion, bold language and bold measures are indispensable. The attitude of calm defiance suits us. It is vain to talk of peace with a power with which we are actually in hostility. The election is between a tame surrender of our rights or a state of mitigated hostility. Neither do I think that this state will lead to general rupture if France is unsuccessful; and if successful, there is no doubt in my mind that she will endeavor to impose her yoke upon us.
P. S.—If Robert Troup resigns his office of district judge, the President cannot make a better choice than of Samuel Jones, Esq., the present Comptroller of the State. I understand he will accept.