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In the summer ofAlexander Hamilton received a visitor. Her husband, James Reynolds, had abandoned her—not that it was a ificant loss, for Reynolds had grossly mistreated her before absconding. Hamilton, just 34, was serving as secretary of the United States treasury and was himself a New Yorker; she thought he would surely be able to help her return to that city, where she could resettle among friends and relatives. Hamilton was eager to be of service, but, he recounted later, it was not possible at the moment of her visit, so he arranged to visit her that evening, money in hand.
When he arrived at the Reynolds home, Maria led him into an upstairs bedroom. And thus began an affair that would put Alexander Hamilton Hamilton MA cheating wives the front of a long line of American politicians forced to apologize publicly for their private behavior. Hamilton whose wife and children were vacationing with relatives in Albany and Maria Reynolds saw each other regularly throughout the summer and fall of —until James Reynolds returned to the scene and instantly saw the profit potential in the situation.
December 15, Hamilton received an urgent note from his mistress:. I have not tim to tell you the cause of my present troubles only that Mr. Hamilton he has just Gone oute and I am a Lone I think you had better come here one moment that you May know the Cause then you will the better know how to act Oh my God I feel more for you than myself and wish I had never been born to give you so mutch unhappiness do not rite to him no not a Line but come here soon do not send or leave any thing in his power.
Two days later, Hamilton received a letter from James Reynolds that accused him of destroying a happy home and proposed a solution:. Its true its in your power to do a great deal for me, but its out of your power to do any thing that will Restore to me my Happiness again for if you should give me all you possess would not do it. I have this preposial to make to you.
I hope you wont think my request is in a view of making Me Satisfaction for the injury done me. Rather than leave town and his new markJames Reynolds allowed the relationship to continue. I have kept my bed those tow days past but find my self mutch better at presant though yet full distreesed and shall till I se you fretting was the Cause of my Illness I thought you had been told to stay away from our house and yesterday with tears I my Eyes I beged Mr. If you cannot come this Evening to stay just come only for one moment as I shal be Lone Mr. James Reynolds, who had become increasingly involved in a dubious plan to purchase on the cheap the pension and back-pay claims of Revolutionary War soldiers, found himself on the wrong side of the law in Novemberand was imprisoned for committing forgery.
Naturally, he called upon his old friend Hamilton, but the latter refused to help. And that, Hamilton thought, was that. The Republican clerk of the House of Representatives, John Beckley, may also have surreptitiously copied them. But to be implicated in a financial scandal was, to Hamilton, simply unthinkable.
To be branded as corrupt would not only end his career, but also threaten the future of the Federalist Party. Left with few other options, Hamilton decided to confess to his indiscretions with Maria Reynolds and use that confession as proof that on all other fronts, he had nothing to hide. But his admission of guilt would be far more revealing than anyone could have guessed. The pamphlet included revelations sure to humiliate Elizabeth Hamilton—that he and Maria had brought their affair into the Hamilton family home, and that Hamilton Hamilton MA cheating wives encouraged his wife to remain in Albany so that he could see Maria without explanation.
How would Elizabeth Hamilton react to being betrayed by her husband with such a woman? Still, Hamilton pressed on in his pamphlet, presenting a series of letters from both Reynoldses that made Hamilton, renowned for his cleverness, seem positively simple. Hamilton obliged. This confession is not made without a blush.
I cannot be the apologist of any vice because the ardor of passion may have made it mine. I can never cease to condemn myself for the pang which it may inflict in a bosom eminently entitled to all my gratitude, fidelity, and love. But that bosom will approve, that, even at so great an expense, I should effectually wipe away a more serious stain from a name which it cherishes with no less elevation than tenderness.
The public, too, will, I trust, excuse the confession. The necessity of it to my defence against a more heinous charge could alone have extorted from me so painful an indecorum. Talk of further political office effectively ceased.
Hamilton MA cheating wives blamed Monroe, whom he halfheartedly tried to bait into challenging him to a duel. Monroe refused. The attorney that guided her through that process was Aaron Burr. Chernow, Ron. Observations on Certain Documents; Callender, James.
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