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to gouverneur morris - 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 gouverneur morris
April 6, 1802.
Amidst the humiliating circumstances which attend our country, all the sound part of the community must find cause of triumph in the brilliant display of talents which have been employed, though without success, in resisting the follies of an infatuated administration; and your personal friends will not have much reason for mortification on account of the part you have performed in the interesting scene. But, my dear sir, we must not content ourselves with a temporary effort to oppose the approach of evil. We must derive instruction from the experience before us; and learning to form a just estimate of things to which we have been attached, there must be a systematic and persevering endeavor to establish the fortune of a great empire on foundations much firmer than have yet been devised. What will signify a vibration of power if it cannot be used with confidence or energy, and must be again quickly restored to hands which will prostrate much faster than we shall be able to rear under so frail a system? Nothing will be done until the structure of our national edifice shall be such as naturally to control eccentric passions and views, and to keep in check demagogues and knaves in the disguise of patriots. Yet I fear a different reasoning will prevail, and an eagerness to recover lost power will betray us into expedients which will be injurious to the country and disgraceful and ruinous to ourselves. What meant the apparition and the toast which made part of the after-piece of the birthday festival? Is it possible that some new intrigue is about to link the Federalists with a man who can never be anything else than the bane of a good cause? I dread more from this than from all the contrivances of the bloated and senseless junto of Virginia.
The Federalists and Anti-federalists of this State united in certain amendments to the Constitution now before your House, having for objects, 1st, to discriminate the candidates for the Presidency and Vice-Presidency; 2d, to have the electors of these officers chosen by the people, in districts, under the direction of Congress. Both these appear to me points of importance in true federal calculation. Surely the scene of last session ought to teach us the intrinsic demerits of the existing plan. It proved to us how possible it is for a man in whom no party had confidence, and who deserved the confidence of none, by mere intrigue and accident, to acquire the first place in the government of our nation; and it also proves to us how serious a danger of convulsion and disorder is incident to the plan. On this point things have come to my knowledge, improper for a letter, which would astonish you. Surely, we ought by this time to have learnt that whatever multiplies the opportunities and means of cabal, is more favorable to our adversaries than to us. They have certainly the advantage in the game by greater zeal, activity, and subtlety, and especially by an abandonment of principle. On all these accounts it is our true policy to abridge the facilities to cabal as much as possible in all our public institutions and measures. As to the second of the amendments, it has ever appeared to me as sound principle to let the federal government rest, as much as possible, on the shoulders of the people, and as little as possible on those of the State Legislatures. The proposition accords with this principle, and, in my view, it is further recommended by its tendency to exclude combinations, which, I am persuaded, in the general and permanent course of things, will operate more against than for us. Colonel Burr, without doubt, will resist these amendments; and he may induce some of our friends to play into his hands; but this will be a very bad calculation, even admitting the inadmissible idea that he ought to be adopted as a chief of the federal party. We never can have him fairly in our power, till we render his situation absolutely hopeless with his old friends. While the indiscriminate voting prevails, he will find it his interest to play fast and loose, and to keep himself in a state to be at the head of the anti-federal party. If these hopes are cut off, he will immediately set about forming a third party, of which he will be at the head; and then, if we think it worth the while, we can purchase him with his flying squadron.
These observations are, of course, hypothetical, for, to my mind, the elevation of Mr. Burr, by federal means, to the chief magistracy of the United States, will be the worst kind of political suicide.