From Philip Schuyler
Albany Feb: 5th 1781
Your favors of the 21st & 30th ult:1 I had the pleasure to receive a few days ago.
The reward refused by the Pensylvania line evinces a becoming sense of propriety & gallantry.2 What might not our soldiery be brought to if properly fed, paid and cloathed.
The plan you mention for supplying the armies in America I should be exceedingly happy to see attempted, but I fear congress will not venture on it altho they should be convinced of its eligibility. In the course of last year I proposed it repeatedly to individual members who generally approved, and once or twice took occasion to mention it in congress, but in the house, no one dared to give his opinion. I am persuaded, if it was adopted, that a saving, at present almost inconceivable, would be Induced, and an order and œcomony in the public expenditures, which, whilst it would reconcile the minds of men to bear the public burthens with alacrity, would effectually erradicate the fears which too generally prevail, but we shall sink under the enormous weight of our Expenses. I have been on a Committee of the senate to prepare a letter to Congress.6 It will go by this conveyance. I shall not detail the subject as a copy of It is directed to be sent to the General. It would have gone with this but is too lengthy to get ready.
I thank you for the hints you give relative to a certain person and shall not fail to Improve them.
I have written to Mr Moylan7 for some refuse cloathing for the Indians. Permit me to Intreat your interposition to procure him carriages for the transportation hither.
I have been very much indisposed for some time past altho a little better at present. Mrs. Schuyler joins me in love to you & Betsy, pray remember us with Mr and Mrs. Coch[r]an.8 Make our respects to the General & Mrs. Washington.
Adieu I am My Dear Sir very affectionately & very proudly Your obedient & hum Servant
ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.
1. Neither letter found.
2. Following the mutiny of the Pennsylvania line, Sir Henry Clinton sent agents to the mutineers and offered them inducements to join his command. The mutineers rejected Clinton’s offers.
3. Guillaume-Jacques-Constant Liberge, Comte de Granchain de Sémerville, of the French navy.
4. Letter not found.
5. Jeremiah Wadsworth who had resigned as commissary general of purchases on January 1, 1780.
6. This letter (dated February 5, 1781) was read in Congress on February 14, 1781, and is in the Papers of the Continental Congress, National Archives.
7. Colonel Stephen Moylan, Fourth Continental Dragoons.
8. Dr. and Mrs. John Cochran were Elizabeth Hamilton’s aunt and uncle. Dr. Cochran had been named director general of military hospitals on January 17, 1781.