Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Thomas Sim Lee, 30 September 1794

From Thomas Sim Lee

Council Chamber [Annapolis, Maryland]
September 30th 1794.


The enclosed copy of a Letter from Brigadier General Smith at Frederick Town will explain to you a variety of difficulties annexed to his situation which he seems to consider as sufficiently formidable to delay his march to the Ultimate place of rendezvous.1

My view in transmitting to you a copy of this Communication is simply to afford the General Government an opportunity of removing as far as possible such of the alledged difficulties as have been beyond my power.

The enclosed Copy of my answer2 to his Letter will apprize you of the nature of my exertions for completing the Maryland Detachment and for effecting their accommodation and it will remain with the President to adopt such further arrangements with regard to the latter object as may be thought expedient for supplying what is yet deficient.

I can truly say I have used every possible effort to gratify the objection of the General Government, and that I shall not in future omit any opportunity of giving it my utmost support and assistance.

The marked Inadequacy of our Militia Law3 has placed obstacles in my way which it has been impracticable wholly to surmount. I have endeavoured to meet this Inadequacy by every means that could be devised, but have not been able to succeed to the extent required. I have no doubt that General Smith upon receipt of my letter and the Medicine and Blankets from Baltimore, will take the earliest measures for getting in motion; and I feel a Confidence that the displeasure resulting from the disappointment of the expectations with which he received his Command will be but temporary.

I am &c

Tho: S Lee

The Honble
Alexander Hamilton
Secretary Treasury.

Copy, RG 56, Letters 2d Comptroller, 2d Auditor, Executive of Maryland and Georgia, Maryland, National Archives.

1The letter from Samuel Smith to Lee is dated September 27, 1794, and reads in part as follows: “… I find here a want of many things. No Quarter master who knows his Duty, No Waggon Master, No Forage Master, no Medicine and the Men Sickly. It can Scarcely be expected that We Shall march under those Circumstances. I was promised 2300 Men with a proper Number Say 200 of Horse. I Shall have about 1250 or at most 1500 without a Horseman except those from Harford Say 15 who are coming on by mistake” (ALS, Hall of Records of Maryland, Annapolis).

2A copy of Lee’s answer has not been found, but on October 3, 1794, Smith wrote to Lee acknowledging the receipt of Lee’s letter of September 30, 1794 (ALS, Hall of Records of Maryland, Annapolis).

In response to Smith’s letter of September 27, Lee wrote on September 30 to the contractors for the militia in Baltimore requesting that blankets be forwarded immediately to Frederick (ALS, Hall of Records of Maryland, Annapolis).

3This is a reference to “An Act to regulate and discipline the militia of this state,” passed December 28, 1793 (Maryland Laws, November, 1793, Sess., Ch. LIII).

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