Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to Abraham Hunt, 17 August 1794

To Abraham Hunt1

Treasury Department
Aug 17. 1794


In the event of a detachment of Militia assembling in New Jersey to march against the insurgents in the Western parts of Pensylvania2 it is my wish that it may be convenient to you to undertake to procure supplies for them of every kind transportation included until they get into Pensylvania, for which a Commission of 5 per Cent on the amount of expenditures would be allowed.

If it shall be agreeable to you to undertake, I request that you will without delay confer with the Governor,3 as to the places of rendezvous, in the first instance, and routes of the corps which may be called out, so as to digest beforehand the necessary ideas respecting the execution, when the final order shall go from hence, which if not prevented by a submission of the insurgents (of which there is too little probability) cannot I presume be long delayed.

You may take as a guide that the Militia of Pensylvania and Jersey are to be assembled at Carlisle.

The public has already contracts in New Jersey [at Elizabeth Town4 & New-Brunswick5 for supplying the Troops of the United States. The price of the ration at the first mentioned place is 12¼ Cents and at the last place fourteen Cents, including Medical aid.]6 You will judge whether it is its interest to avail itself of any supplies which may be wanted under these contracts or whether they can otherwise be obtained on better terms; for the contracts only fix the rates which shall be paid for any supplies that may be required.

It will be agreeable to me to hear from you without delay.

With much esteem   I am Sir   Your obedient ser


Abraham Hunt Esq

ADfS, Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford.

1Hunt, a resident of Trenton, New Jersey, was a contractor furnishing supplies for the United States Army.

2In his proclamation of August 7, 1794, concerning opposition to the excise laws in western Pennsylvania, George Washington stated that it was necessary “to take measures for calling forth the militia” (GW description begins John C. Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of George Washington (Washington, 1931–1944) description ends , XXXIII, 460). On August 7, 1794, Henry Knox sent a circular letter to the governors of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, which reads in part as follows: “It is desired that the Corps should consist of Four thousand five hundred Infantry, Five hundred Cavalry and Two hundred Artillery.…

“The force to be called out will be according to the following Schedule:

Infantry Cavalry Artillery
New Jersey 1,500 500 100
Pennsylvania 4,500 500 200
Maryland 2,000 200 150
Virginia  3,000  300  —        
11,000 1,500 450 12,950.”

(LC, Hall of Records of Maryland, Annapolis.) This circular is printed in Pennsylvania Archives, 2nd ser., IV description begins Pennsylvania Archives, 2nd ser., IV (n.p., 1876). description ends , 123.

3Richard Howell, who had served in the American Revolution as a major, in September, 1788, became clerk of the New Jersey Supreme Court, and on June 3, 1793, following the resignation of William Paterson, was elected governor by the New Jersey legislature.

Howell issued general orders to the New Jersey militia on August 23, 1794 (D, Anthony Walton White Papers, Rutgers, The State University, Library, New Brunswick, New Jersey).

4William Shute was the contractor for Army rations at Elizabeth, New Jersey.

5John Bray was the contractor for Army rations at New Brunswick, New Jersey.

6The words within brackets are not in H’s handwriting.

Index Entries