The Reynolds Pamphlet

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The Reynolds Pamphlet was a ninety-one page pamphlet written by Alexander Hamilton to clear his name of allegations of money laundering through another identity known as James Reynolds; the pamphlet detailed Hamilton's financial integrity, and explained that a series of payments totalling $1300 over the course of a year was due to extortion by Reynolds. Reynolds demanded payments to keep Hamilton's affair with Maria Reynolds, James Reynolds' wife, a secret.

The charge against me is a connection with one James Reynolds for purposes of improper speculation. My real crime is an amorous connection with his wife, for a considerable time with his privity and connivance, if not originally brought on by a combination between the husband and wife with the design to extort money from me.

This confession is not made without a blush. I cannot be the apologist of any vice because the ardour 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 intitled to all my gratitude, fidelity and love. But that bosom will approve, that even at so great an expence, 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.

—Alexander Hamilton[1]


  1. The Reynold Pamphlet, The National Archives