To John Jay1
New York July 29. 1799
My Dear Sir
The completion of the works in the vicinity of our City proceeds heavily. Some embarrassment is understood to arise in the War Department from the Question of Appropriations. I beg to be informed whether the sum appropriated by the Legislature of this State will come in aid of the Operation.2 Limited as that sum is, nothing upon a large scale can be undertaken in reference to it. Its Agency in fortifications on the Islands, at Powles Hook, and on the projection from Long Island opposite Governors Island (I forget at this moment its name) is the only one which can be useful.
With great respect & esteem I have the honor to be Sir Yr Obed serv
ALS, Columbia University Libraries; copy, in the handwriting of Ethan Brown, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.
1. For background to this letter, see the introductory note to H to James McHenry, June 1, 1798.
2. This is a reference to “An Act for the payment of certain Officers of Government, and other contingent expences” (New York Laws, 22nd Sess., Ch. XCIV [April 3, 1799]). The last clause of this act reads: “And be it further enacted, That the comptroller shall and he is hereby directed, as soon as conveniently may be, to collect and liquidate the expences incurred by the fortifications in this state, for the defence of the United States; and shall also liquidate with the secretary of the treasury of the United States, the specie value of the funded debt of the United States assumed by the said states of the debt of this state, on the principles contained in the act of Congress passed the fifteenth day of February last, relative to the balances reported by the commissioners for settling the accounts between the United States and the several states.”