Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to William North, 21 December 1799

To William North

Philaa. Dr. 21st. 1799


I enclose to you some regulations1 relative to the funeral honors to be paid to our departed chief. They will govern generally in the celebration, altho’ I have not definitively adopted them.

The ceremonies will be performed in this city on Thursday next, and I should wish them to be performed in New York at the same time. If this is practicable you will immediately make the necessary arrangements for the purpose. You will draw the companies from the island, leaving only a sufficient number of men to manage the guard and concert measures with General Clarkson2 for bringing forward the uniform corps of volunteers and militia to take part in the scene. It will be proper likewise that the city should form part of the procession, and you will do what shall appear to you proper in reference to that idea. The half hour guns will be fired on the island, and the minute guns from the battery. The time is not sufficient for preparing a regular oration, but I should be happy if you could prevail on Doctor Moore3 or some other Clergyman to deliver a discourse suited to the occasion.

You will have musket cartridges prepared and sent to the Union Camp, and you will also send there two pieces of Artillery with cartridges for them. The necessary articles you will apply for to General Stevens.4

I shall write to you again on Monday.5

With great consr

General North

Df, in the handwriting of Thomas Y. How, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

2Matthew Clarkson, who held the rank of major at the close of the American Revolution, was a major general in the New York State militia. He served in the state Assembly from 1789 to 1790 and in the state Senate from 1794 to 1795. In 1794 the legislature named him to the committee in charge of fortifications in New York City. He served as marshal of the District of New York from 1791 to 1792, and in February, 1795, he became commissioner of loans for New York. In 1796 he was appointed to the mixed claims commission established under Article XXI of the Treaty of Friendship, Limits, and Navigation, signed at San Lorenzo el Real, October 27, 1795 (Pinckney’s Treaty), and two years later he became a director of the New York branch of the Bank of the United States.

3Benjamin Moore, a Protestant Episcopal clergyman, had been ordained by the Bishop of London in June, 1774. In February, 1775, he became an assistant rector of Trinity Church, New York. He withdrew as a candidate for rector of Trinity Church in November, 1783, because of the controversy arising from the fact that he had been a Loyalist during the American Revolution. No record of a sermon or eulogy by Moore in honor of Washington has been found.

4Ebenezer Stevens.

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