From Asher Robbins1
Newport [Rhode Island] 26th Apl. 1798
Mr Gibbs2 of this Town, who is doubtless known to you, will deliver you this. I have mentioned to him & to others that you were kind enough to engage to reflect on the situation of this Island, & to give an opinion, upon the most elegible mode of putting it into a State of defence. To enable you to do this Mr Gibbs, will put into your hands, a map, which is esteemed a very correct one, & some observations of Colo Crary and Colo Sherburne;3 two of our most experienced military characters. Colo Olney4 living at Providence I have not been able to consult with him, but Mr Gibbs will be able to make or procure you any further explanations you many want.
With the most perfect esteem I am Sir Your hble servt
Alexander Hamilton Esqr.
ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.
1. Robbins, a former tutor at Rhode Island College (now Brown University), had studied law and practiced in Providence, Rhode Island. In 1795 he moved to Newport. He became a United States Senator in 1825.
2. George W. Gibbs was a Newport merchant and shipowner.
3. “Observations upon the points of defence of Rhode Island by Colo Archibald Crary & Colo Henry Sherburne,” April 28, 1798 (DS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress). Crary, a Revolutionary War veteran, was a colonel in the Second Rhode Island Regiment and was agent for the War Department in Rhode Island. Sherburne, a Revolutionary War veteran, was treasurer of Rhode Island from 1792 to 1818.
4. Jeremiah Olney was collector of customs at Providence.