In 1791, when Maria Reynolds was 23, she went to Alexander Hamilton's house in Philadelphia. She said her husband had left and she wanted to go back to New York, where she was from. He offered to lend her money so she could go. Instead, the two of them began a sexual relationship. Later, Maria Reynolds' husband, James Reynolds, blackmailed Alexander Hamilton: He told Hamilton to give him money or else he would tell Hamilton's wife that he had slept with Maria. Hamilton paid James Reynolds and continued to visit Maria Reynolds.
James Reynolds continued to write letters to Hamilton asking for money, and Hamilton paid. When James Reynolds was arrested for forgery, he asked Hamilton for help. Hamilton did not help. James Reynolds told Hamilton's political enemies, Democratic Republicans James Monroe, Frederick Muhlenberg, and Abraham Venable about the affair. He also said Hamilton had committed other crimes. Monroe, Muhlenberg and Venable talked to Hamilton. They believed he had had an affair but had not committed other crimes. But Monroe made a copy of letters Hamilton's had written to Maria Reynolds and gave it to Thomas Jefferson.
In 1796, James Callendar wrote a book called The History of the United States for 1796. In that book, he accused Hamilton of speculation and of the affair. Hamilton wrote a pamphlet called Observations on Certain Documents in 1797. He said in the pamphlet that he had had the affair but had not done any speculation. The public believed him.
Maria and Hamilton had a realation ship that was very inapropriate.
- Angela Serratore (July 25, 2013). "Alexander Hamilton's Adultery and Apology". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved January 10, 2021.