Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to William S. Smith, 12 March 1800

To William S. Smith

N Y March 12th 1800


I have received your letters of the 5th and 7th1 instants.

As some of the subjects were discussed in conversation with you the other day2 it will not be necessary to repeat the remarks that were then made.

On the subject of wood I have written to Col. Ogden.3

I can not say any thing relative to the claim of Captain White, having never been able to obtain from the S of War a definitive rule on the subject. I have just renewed my application relative to the point.4 The result as soon as known shall be communicated to you. Enthusiasm is certainly a very good thing, but religious enthusiasm is at least a dangerous instrument. From this, and some other circumstances which have come to my knowledge, I must decline authorizing you to employ the person you mention.5

Col Smith

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

1Smith wrote two letters to H on March 7, 1800, both of which are listed in the appendix to this volume. The first of these letters concerns reimbursement for Captain Samuel White as judge advocate. See H to James McHenry, March 12, 1800. In the second letter Smith discussed the case against Lieutenant George W. Kirkland. For this case, see Smith to H, March 5, 1800, note 5.

2Smith had been in New York City on March 9–10, 1800. See Smith to H, March 8, 1800; H to William Ward Burrows, March 10, 1800.

3On March 12, 1800, in a letter listed in the appendix to this volume, H had ordered Ogden to supply the camp near Scotch Plains with enough firewood to last until April 15, 1800.

5H is referring to David Austin. See Smith to H, February 24, 1800, note 2; March 5, 1800.

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