Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to James McHenry, 21 August 1798

To James McHenry

New York 21st August 1798


You will herewith receive the list mentioned in mine of yesterday.1 The names marked with an * are those which engage my preference as last ascertained.

The list comprises the names you sent me2 and some others which have come directly to me. Besides these there are a number of applications with my Remarks upon them which were put up in a packet and either transmitted to you or delivered to Mr. Lewis3 to be delivered to you when I was last at Philadelphia4 & you will find in a letter of mine written then some names which I believe do not appear elsewhere; among them two of the names of Rensselear nephews of Mrs. Schuyler.5

Give me leave now to mention to you Renssellaer Schuyler son of the General6 who married a daughter of General Tenbroeck7 of Albany & who is desirous of being appointed Captain of a Troop of Horse. This Gentleman has many things in his favour. He is intelligent active and spirited. But I ought not to conceal from you that he has committed imprudences which have been painful to his father; whose heart needs consolation with respect to him and would derive it from his success in his present application. I have the strongest hope that he would make a very good officer. If the Captaincy of a Troop is unattainable, I shall be glad to see him appointed a first Lieutenant in the Corps of Horse.

At foot is a list of names for field Officers. Col. Walker8 lives at too great a distance to admit of its being yet known whether he would accept an appointment or not—but I would advise that he be appointed to the Command of a Regiment upon speculation of his acceptance. Col. Platt9 is every moment expected from France. Should Walker decline, he will be an excellent substitute.

With great respect & Esteem I have The Honor to be sir your Obedt servant

secretary at War10

Benjamin Walker } Colonels
Richard Platt
These two probably to be preferred { Jacob Morton11 now Col of Militia never served
material of a very good
officer eligible as first Major
William Wilcox12 Aide De Camp & Major last war
Theodosius Fowler13 Capt do
Peter Talman14 Capt

Several other meritorious Officers have occured but they will not now engage.

Df, in the handwriting of Frederick N. Hudson and H, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

3William Lewis was a lawyer in Philadelphia.

4H had been in Philadelphia from July 28 to July 30, 1798. See H to McHenry, July 28, 30, 1798.

6Philip Schuyler was H’s father-in-law.

7Elizabeth (Eliza) Ten Broeck was Abraham Ten Broeck’s daughter. Ten Broeck, a resident of Albany County, was a veteran of the American Revolution and a Federalist. From 1781 to 1794 he was judge of the Court of Common Pleas at Albany.

9Richard Platt had been a major and an aide-de-camp to Alexander McDougall during the American Revolution. He was active in the New York Society of the Cincinnati, William Duer’s Scioto Company, the Ohio Company, and the Society for Establishing Useful Manufactures. As a result of the panic of 1792, he was ruined financially. See William Lewis to H, June, 1794; Platt to H, April 26, 1796. In January, 1797, Platt left the United States and went to France in order to escape from his creditors and, if possible, to raise funds (Platt to Aaron Burr, January 11, 14, 1797 [ALS New-York Historical Society, New York City]).

10The remainder of the letter is in H’s handwriting.

11Morton, a New York City lawyer, served in the state Assembly in 1796 and 1797. In 1797 he became one of the judges in New York City appointed under the provisions of “An Act concerning the recovery of debts and demands to the value of ten pounds, in the city of New-York” (New York Laws, 20th Sess., Ch. XX [February 16, 1797]).

12Willcocks (Wilcox), a New York City lawyer, was an aide-de-camp to General William Alexander during the American Revolution.

13Fowler, a veteran of the American Revolution, was a New York City merchant.

14Talman was a New York City merchant. On February 26, 1795, he was appointed a lieutenant in the Corps of Artillerists and Engineers (Executive Journal, I description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate (Washington, 1828), I. description ends , 173, 174).

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