Observations on Certain Documents Contained in No V and VI of...
Handsome First Edition of Hamilton's "Reynolds Pamphlet" Hamilton, Alexander [1757-1804]. Observations on Certain Documents Contained in No. V & VI of "The History of the United States for the Year 1796,": In Which the Charge of Speculation Against Alexander Hamilton, Late Secretary of the Treasury, Is Fully Refuted. Philadelphia: Printed for John Fenno, By John Bioren, 1797. 37, , lviii pp. Octavo (8-1/4" x 5"). Stab-stitched pamphlet in modern blue plain wrappers. Moderate toning, light foxing to sections of text, "3." in early hand to upper outside corner of title page. Housed in a blue cloth clamshell box, calf title panel to front cover. A very appealing copy. $25,000. * First edition. Better known as the "Reynolds Pamphlet," this remarkable work relates to one of the first sex scandals in American political history. While secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton had a three-year affair with a woman named Maria Reynolds. This affair was instigated and encouraged by her husband, James, as a way to extort hush money from Hamilton. Jailed for his participation in a shady speculative scheme, Reynolds attempted to implicate Hamilton in exchange for his freedom, through the help of political enemies, believing Hamilton would claim responsibility if threatened with public exposure of the affair. In the meantime, rumors linking Hamilton to the speculative scheme began to circulate and find their way into print, most notably in Callender's History of the United States. In a bold move to protect his public reputation, Hamilton addressed the rumors and prevented a political scandal by confessing the truth. Denying any charges of public financial impropriety, he admitted his "amorous connection" with Maria Reynolds with her husband's "privity and connivance." According to Sabin, Mrs. Hamilton tried to buy up all copies of the 1797 pamphlet, but some escaped. A second edition was reprinted in 1800 by anti-Federalists in the midst of the Jefferson-Burr election. Howes, USiana H120. Sabin, A Dictionary of Books Relating to America 29970.
Book number 74644