Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from James McHenry, 22 October 1798

From James McHenry1

War Department
22 October 1798.


I have been favored with your letter of the 19th instant.

You will see by the enclosed copy of a letter to Colo Stevens dated 21st of august2 the instructions which respect the fortifications on Governors, Bedlows and Ellis’s Islands.

In conformity with your opinion I have directed Col Stevens to contract for the necessary additional barracks on Governors Island, and to have such buildings as already exist on Ellis’s Island fitted up for the immediate accommodation of a company and the works put in a state of defence as speedily as possible agreeably to my instructions contained in the letter enclosed.

With respect and esteem   I have the honor to be Dr Genl.   Your most obd Hb St

James McHenry

Major Genl A Hamilton

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1For background to this letter, see the introductory note to H to James McHenry, June 1, 1798.

2On August 21, 1798, McHenry wrote to Ebenezer Stevens: “I have received and examined the plans and estimates for the different defences of the City and Harbour of New York. The Military committee of New York being on the spot, and composed of Gentlemen of competent judgement, I have determined to submit to their decision the choice of a plan for the parapet for the work on Governors Island. They will therefore decide between the plans offered by Mr Mangin and those of Messrs Fleming and Hill.

“As soon as the committee have announced their preference, you will advertise for proposals to undertake the same and the other reparations and additions which may be necessary on Governors Island, Bedlows Island, Oyster Island and Paulus Hook agreeably to the plans furnished.…” (ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.)

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