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to john rutledge - 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 john rutledge
As long as the federal party pursue their high ground of integrity and principle, I shall not despair of the public weal; but if they quit it and descend to be willing instruments of the elevation of the most unfit and most dangerous man of the community to the highest station in the government, I shall no longer see any anchor for the hopes of good men. I shall at once anticipate all the evils that a daring and unprincipled ambition, wielding the lever of Jacobinism, can bring upon an infatuated country. ’T is not to the chapter of accidents that we ought to trust the government, peace, and happiness of our country. ’T is enough for us to know that Mr. Burr is one of the most unprincipled men in the United States, to determine us to decline being responsible for the precarious issues of his calculations of interest. You cannot, in my opinion, render a greater service to your country than by exerting your influence to counteract the impolitic and impure idea of raising Mr. Burr to the chief magistracy.1
to james ross 2
Letters which myself and others have received from Washington give me much alarm at the prospect that Mr. Burr may be supported by the Federalists in preference to Mr. Jefferson. Be assured, my dear sir, that this would be a fatal mistake. From a thorough knowledge of the characters, I can pronounce with confidence that Mr. Burr is the last man in the United States to be supported by the Federalists.
First. It is an opinion firmly entertained by his enemies and not disputed by his friends, that, as a man, he is deficient in honesty. Some very sad stories are related of him. That he is bankrupt for a large deficit, is certain. Second. As a politician, discerning men of both parties admit that he has but one principle—to get power by any means, and to keep it by all means. Third. Of an ambition too irregular and inordinate to be content with institutions that leave his power precarious, he is of too bold and sanguine a temper to think any thing too hazardous to be attempted, or too difficult to be accomplished. Fourth. As to talents, they are great for management and intrigue—but he is yet to give the first proofs that they are equal to the act of governing well. Fifth. As to his theory, no man can tell what it is. Institutions that would serve his own purposes (such as the government of France of the present day), not such as would promise lasting prosperity and glory to the country, would be his preference, because he cares only for himself, and nothing for his country or glory. Sixth. Certain that his irregular ambition cannot be supported by good men, he will court and employ the worst men of all parties as the most eligible instruments. Jacobinism in its most pernicious form will scourge the country. Seventh. As to foreign politics, war will be a necessary means of power and wealth. The animosity to the British will be the handle by which he will attempt to wield the nation to that point. Within a fortnight he has advocated positions, which, if acted upon, would in six months place us in a state of war with that power. From the elevation of such a man may heaven preserve the country. Should it be by the means of the Federalists, I should at once despair. I should see no longer any thing upon which to rest the hope of public or private prosperity.
No. Let the Federalists vote for Jefferson.
But, as they have much in their power, let them improve the situation to obtain assurances from him:
Reprinted from the History of the Republic, vii., 445. General John Rutledge, of South Carolina, to whom this letter is addressed, was the son of the revolutionary patriot and statesman of the same name. He was at this time Member of Congress from South Carolina.
James Ross, Senator from Pennsylvania, was one of the leaders of the Federalists and a lawyer of distinguished ability.
Reprinted from the History of the Republic, vii., 445.