8. Letter by Aaron Burr to William P. Van Ness
June 25, 1804
I am disappointed of my ride.
If General Hamilton should propose to charge you with any verbal message, you may reply, that being authorized for a particular purpose, you can not so far exceed your power and assume upon yourself as to present to your principal as overture for negotiation on a new basis – that you consider the negotiation in which you engaged as concluded and that it would be highly improper in you to propose one anew as his agent. That if he should think proper to attempt anything of the kind, it must be through some other channel.
If it should be asked whether there is no alternative, most certainly there is; but more will now be required that would have been asked at first.
These hints are only intended to attract your attention to the various shapes which the thing may assume so that you may be at all points prepared.
Wm. P. Van Ness, Esqr