Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to James McHenry, [1–2 August 1798]

To James McHenry1

[New York, August 1–2, 1798]


Inclosed are sundry recommendations for appointments with notes of mine concerning them.2 I do not recollect whether I have heretofore mentioned to you Mr William Armstrong.3 This gentleman was a British Officer and served in the British army in America last War. But for a number of years he has been a citizen of this State—having also married in America and being the father of a Family. He would accept a Commission as Major, and I have no doubt would be a real acquisition to our service in this capacity. Whether former circumstances form an objection will depend on the general system which may in this respect be adopted. I am myself of opinion that sooner or later, if hostilities progress, it will be expedient to avail ourselves of men of merit of this description.

Christopher Hutton,4 formerly an Ajutant of a New York Regiment a very respectable Citizen, would it is believed make a very good Major. Means have been taken indirectly to sound him. He may be provisionally brought into the view of the President.

With respect &c   I have the honor to be &c   Yr. Obedt Sert

The Secy at War

Df, in the handwriting of William LeConte, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1William LeConte, who wrote this draft for H, was one of H’s law clerks. On April 24, 1801, the New York Supreme Court read “the Certificate of Alexander Hamilton … whereby it appears that William Le Conte has served a regular Clerkship in his Office, and that he is of good Moral Character,” and on May 2, 1801, LeConte was admitted to practice as an attorney in that court (MS Minutes of the New York Supreme Court, 1801–1805 [Hall of Records, New York City]).

2This enclosure has not been found.

3Armstrong was a New York City merchant.

4Hutton was a resident of Rensselaerwyck.

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