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his company at the commencement of the war, and might in equity have looked to be repaid his advances. He had also entered into new ties, and had claims upon him that would, in most minds, have justified him in taking advantage of the emoluments which his long services had earned.

Shortly after his leaving the staff of Washington, and before the expedition against Cornwallis, he had been united in marriage to a daughter of General Schuyler; and the act of declining to receive his pay was about contemporaneous with the birth of his first child.

In order to provide for the support of his family, he determined to prepare himself for the profession of the law. In this study he made such proficiency, that he was enabled, in the course of a few months, to present himself for examination, and obtained a license to practise. While occupied in his legal studies, he received an offer from Robert Morris of the situation of receiver of taxes for the State of New-York. This he at first de

clined, from the fear of its interfering with his professional pursuits. Morris was, however, too sensible of the value which his services would be to the country to permit him to refuse, and, at his strong instance, he undertook the duties. The time is long past when the history of the financial transactions of the confederation with the separate

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states can possess any interest to the reader; it is only necessary to remark, that the exertions of Hamilton to produce a harmonious co-operation between the general and state government were unwearied, and entitled him to the gratitude and confidence of both parties. To Hamilton this appointment was of no little importance, for it gave him an opportunity of establishing his reputation for business talent and political ability in the eye of the Legislature of that state which he had chosen for his future residence. The nation, too, was the gainer, for Hamilton was thus introduced into public life many years before he would have reached notoriety as a statesman through the slow course of forensic occupations.

CHAPTER VI.

Hamilton takes his Seat in Congress.—Question in relation to Vermont.-Plan for a uniform System of Duties on Imports.-Opposition of Rhode Island.-Anonymous Letter published in that State.-Proceedings of Congress in relation thereto.-Virginia withdraws its Assent.-Report of the Committee of Finance.-Hamilton proposes a Substitute, which is rejected.-Report of the Committee of Finance, and Documents appended. The Newburgh Letters.

HAMILTON took his seat in the Congress of the United States, as a delegate from the State of. New-York, in 1782. The pressure of the war was over; for the capture of Cornwallis and his army had proved to the British government that nothing more was to be expected from attempts to occupy or even overrun the country. It had been found, that while their generals, at the head of well-equipped and admirably-disciplined forces, could at the first onset prevail in their incursions, they, at best, had never been able to occupy more ground than the mere position of their camps; and, however successful at first, had been invariably worsted in the end. The advance of Bur

goyne into the State of New-York had terminated in his laying down his arms; the capture of Philadelphia had been followed by a disgraceful retreat through New-Jersey; and the march of Cornwallis through the Carolinas into Virginia had resulted in the surrender of his army. Still, the hope of gaining by weariness and suffering what could not be accomplished by arms was not wholly abandoned. The strong and advantageous position of New-York was occupied by a large army, and made impregnable to any force which could be brought against it, even by the union of the French and American armies. In addition, the navy of England had regained its supremacy at sea, and the side on which New-York is most vulnerable was thus covered from attack. All parties, however, were wearied with the war, and negotiations for a general peace were speedily opened in Paris.

Congress had now many important duties to perform, under circumstances of considerable difficulty. An army was to be kept up after the excitement of actual danger had passed away, and when the resources of the country had been much impaired by a long continuation of hostilities; the negotiations for a peace were to be directed, and, as it soon appeared, under circumstances very unfavourable to the maintenance of the power or even of the security of the United States; terri

torial disputes had proceeded to a great extent among the members of the confederacy, and, in particular, a district inhabited by a hardy population was in a position which rendered it probable that arms must be resorted to to settle the matter in litigation. The present State of Vermont had been principally settled from the other colonies of New-England. The State of NewHampshire had assumed the right of making grants within that region, under which possession had been taken. The colonial government of New-York had also issued land-titles, and some of the citizens of the state had attempted to occupy the property so granted. To this attempt resistance amounting to force had been opposed, so that the civil officers of New-York had been prevented from executing their offices. Congress had been appealed to by both parties; and while the justice of the question was beyond doubt on the side of New-York, considerations of expediency prevented any attempt to enforce the claim, for fear of driving the whole of the frontier State of Vermont to a reconciliation with the mother country.

Of this question Hamilton took an impartial view; and while he united with his colleagues in the support of the claim of the state he represented, he doubted the propriety of attempting to enforce it by arms.

The acts of the people of Vermont had, how

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