Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to James McHenry, 19 October 1798

To James McHenry1

New York October 19. 1798


I was yesterday honourd with your letter2 transmitting my commission as Inspector and Major General.

Agreeably to your desire I hold myself prepared to attend you within the period you assign. But as the object appears to embrace a concert of advice and assistance with General Knox, who cannot be expected in much less than the utmost limit of the time pre[s]cribed, I shall permit myself to defer my journey so as to reach you about the first of November; unless I am told that an anticipation of that day is deemed requisite.

I cannot but observe with satisfaction the conclusion of your letter as to the relative rank of the three Major Generals.

I received at the same time your letter of the 11th instant—having been absent from the city for five days past. I shall to-day confer with Major Hoops & Col Stevens3 on the subject of it chiefly to ascertain the actual state of things, and by tomorrow’s post will communicate my Opinion.4

With great respect & esteem   I have the honor to be   Sir Your Obedt Servant

Alexander Hamilton

Copy, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress; copy, Adams Family Papers, deposited in the Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston.

1For an explanation of the contents of this letter, see the introductory note to George Washington to H, July 14, 1798.

3Adam Hoops was commandant of New York Harbor. Ebenezer Stevens was the agent for the War Department in New York City.

4On October 30, 1798, McHenry sent a copy of H’s letter to President John Adams (ALS, Adams Family Papers, deposited in the Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston).

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