...such was the horror of democracy in the northern States, after the total failure of the French Revolution, and such was the strength of old habits and ideas, that even events like these were not sufficient to change the politics of the nation.

But there was trouble brewing between the Federal leaders. In spite of his cabinet, Mr. Adams had made peace with France, and thus frustrated the military aspirations of General Hamilton. Besides, Adams was a most unmanageable man. He did not like Hamilton, and Hamilton could not endure him, and was determined, by fair means or foul, to get rid of him. By fair means, this could not have been done, for, in New England, the home and stronghold of Federalism, Adams was the strongest man. Hamilton's scheme was, that John Adams and C.C. Pinckney should be the Federal candidates for President and Vice-President, but Pinckney should, by secret maneuvers, be made to receive a vote or two more than Adams, and thus be elected to the first office. The people were to be deliberately cheated. They were to be deluded with the idea, that, while voting for certain legislators, they were voting Adams into a second term of the Presidency ; but their votes were really to have the effect of putting Adams back again into the Vice-Presidency, and of making General Pinckney President !

John Adam's own graphic verion of the story is as follows:

Hamilton made a journey to Boston, Providence, etc., to persuade the people and their legislatures, but without success, to throw away some of their votes, that Adams might not have the unanimous vote of New England; consequently, that Pinckney might be brought in as President, and Adams as Vice-President. Washington was dead, and the Cincinnati were assembled at New York to choose Hamilton for their new President. Whether he publicly opened his project to the whole assembly of the Cincinnati or not, I will not say; but of this I have such proof as I can not doubt, namely, that he broached it privately to such members as he could trust; for the learned and pious doctors, Dwight and Babcock, who, having been chaplains in the army, were then attending as two reverend knights of the order, with their blue ribbons and bright eagles at their sable button-holes, were heard to say repeatedly in the room where the society met, "We must sacrifice Adams," "We must sacrifice Adams." Of this fact I have such evidence that I should dare to appeal, if it were worth while, to the only survivor, Dr. Dwight, of New Haven University. [Yale]

About the same time, walking in the streets of Philadelphia, I met on the opposite sidewalk, Colonel Joseph Lyman, of Springfield, one of the most amiable men in Congress, and one of the most candid men in the world. As soon as he saw me he crossed over to my side of the street, and said, "Sir, I cross over to tell you some news.' "Ay! What news? I hope it is good!' 'Hamilton has divided the Federalists, and proposed to them to give you the go-by, and bring in Pinckney. By this step he has divided the Federalists, and given great offense to the honestest part of them. I am glad of it, for it will be the ruin of his faction.' My answer was, 'Colonel Lyman, it will be, as you say, the ruin of his faction; but it will also be the ruin of honester men than any of them.' And with these words I marched on, and left him to march the other way.

I was soon afterward informed, by personal witnesses and private letters, that Hamilton had assembled a meeting of the citizens and made an elaborate harangue to them. He spoke of the President, John Adams, with respect! But with what respect, I leave you, sir, to conjecture. Hamilton soon after called another and more secret caucus to prepare a list of representatives for the city of New York, in the State legislature, who were to choose electors of President and Vice President. He fixed upon a list of his own friends, people of little weight or consideration in the city or the country. Burr, who had friends in all circles, had a copy of this list brought to him immediately. He read it over, with great gravity folded it up, put it in his pocket, and without uttering another word, said, 'Now I have him hollow.'

Quoted by J. Parton in The Life and Times of Aaron Burr, New York: Mason Brothers, 1858.