To James Duane December 3, 1783

From the original letter at the New-York Historical Society.

My Dear Sir

As you and I have had conversations on the subject which this letter alludes to, and as your long continuance in Congress enables you to know how serviceable, as well as how sincere and disinterested my public conduct has been, I should be glad of an opportunity, before I leave Town, which will be in two or three days, to converse a little intimately with you on some affairs relative to myself.

You know how I am Circumstanced with Congress. My own opinion is, that notwithstanding the wishes and endeavors of General Washington and many other friends, that nothing will be done, as it requires a concurrence of nine States, and there are one or two that will oppose everything relative to myself.

It has ever been my wish and intention to close the scene with a History of the Revolution, but the Conduct of Congress puts it out of my power — and I have but two resources left, the one, is, to apply to the States individually, the other is, to go to Europe, for as matters are now Circumstanced it is impossible I can continue here. Neither do I think there is an instance to be produced in the world of an individual (situated as I was) acting towards a Country as I have done for years together and that Country acting in return as this Country has done by me. — I am truly ashamed of it on her own account and conceal it out of kindness to her infant reputation.

But there is one thing I wish to speak freely to you upon, which is, that I have not yet a fixed residence in any State. — Pennsylvania I have but little inclination to as it is the seat neither of Science nor Society. S. Carolina is too remote as my wish is to be as central as I conveniently can. I should prefer a residence in the State of N. Y. to any other place, and as the State will have houses or situations to dispose of, she will have an opportunity of remembering a friend who has not yet been to America the expence of a private Soldier.

Perhaps was any one State to make a beginning, it might have an effect on others — And as to myself, I candidly tell you — I am tired of having no home, especially in a country where, everybody will allow, I have deserved one —

If you will take an opportunity of talking confidentially with two or three friends on this subject — and communicate to me your sentiments thereon, I shall be much obliged to you.

I am Dear Sir your obt Hble servant,


at Mrs. Hamilton’s opposite Fraunces Tavern —