To James McHenry
New York July  1799
I return you enclosed your draft of a letter dated the 25 instant1 to the several contractors &c with a paragraph at foot which is submitted to be added for reasons that itself will announce.
The doubts you mention are natural. They had occurred to my mind. But considering that the Public is entirely free as to the stationing of the troops, I think that both in candour and good policy the measure may be pursued.
I hesitate whether the invitation ought to extend to the Contractors for Massachusettes.2 Their price is as low as it can well be. The position heretofore intended for three Regiments is in Massachusettes, and it seems just that the moderation of the contractors there should be rewarded by the enjoyment of the advantage. The competition of Connecticut New York & New Jersey may be excited with a view to the three regiments, which were intended to be placed in the vicinity of Brunswick.3
With great regard Yrs. truly
Js McHenry Es
ALS, The Sol Feinstone Collection, Library of the American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia; ALS (photostat), James McHenry Papers, Library of Congress.