To James McHenry
New York, July 10, 1799. “I send you an Extract of a letter of the 20th June from Col: Hunewell,1 recommending Eli Forbes2 Esqr. for Captain in place of Capt. Philips.3 It was an idea talked of between us though not settled, that the routine of promotion should take effect in ⟨ea⟩ch regiment as soon as the places of field Officers were ⟨ac⟩tually filled. If this rule is to govern it would be an obstacle to the success of the present recommenda⟨tion⟩. If on the contrary the routine is not to begin ⟨until⟩ the rules of promotion4 have been finally adopted ⟨and p⟩romulged, then I think it most probable that it ⟨wou⟩ld consist with the good of the Service to make the appointment recommended.…”
Copy, in the handwriting of Ethan Brown, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.
1. Richard Hunewell. Letter not found.
2. Eli Forbes was appointed a captain in the Fifteenth Regiment of Infantry on July 12, 1799, during the recess of the Senate, and the Senate confirmed the appointment on May 14, 1800 (Executive Journal, I description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate (Washington, 1828), I. description ends , 346, 355).
3. Thomas Philips, who had been appointed a captain on January 8, 1799 (Executive Journal, I description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate (Washington, 1828), I. description ends , 299, 303), had declined the appointment.
4. For information on the rules of promotion, see the enclosure to McHenry to H, second letter of July 2, 1799. See also H to McHenry, July 8, 1799; McHenry to H, September 3, 1799.