From James Gunn
[Philadelphia, January 23, 1799]
In haste I inclose you, by the days mail, a printed Copy of the Military Bill Reported to the Senate.1 The Bill was handed me by McHenry,2 and he is engaged in drawing a Bill for Regulating the hospital department.3 Have the goodness to Return the Bill With Such amendments as you think proper to make. I do not see the utility of a full Col. to a Regiment. If your other engagements are not too pressing you will greatly oblige me by enclosing a plan for the provisional army.4 It is my opinion that every State ought to officer one regiment at least, and that the President be authorized to Commission all the officers Immediately. The policy of the thing will not be doubted. Our friends in the House of Representatives permit the enemy to gain time by long Speeches.5
With very great Regard I am Dr. Sir Your Obdt ser.
ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.
1. “A Bill for the better organizing of the Troops of the United States, and for other purposes” (copy, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress). The last line of the document reads: “January 21—Read and passed to second reading.” For the final form of the act, see “An Act for the better organizing of the Troops of the United States; and for other purposes” (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America, I (Boston, 1845). description ends 749–55 [March 3, 1799]).
5. This is a reference to the debates over the so-called “Logan Act” (Annals of Congress description begins The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States; with an Appendix, Containing Important State Papers and Public Documents, and All the Laws of a Public Nature (Washington, 1834–1849). description ends , IX, 2583–2648, 2677–2721). For the final form of this act, see “An Act for the punishment of certain Crimes therein specified” (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America, I (Boston, 1845). description ends 613 [January 30, 1799]).
6. H endorsed this letter: “answered 24.” Letter not found.