Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from James McHenry, 5 May 1800

From James McHenry


War Department
5 May 1800

Dear Sir

I enclose you two letters from E. B. Dayton to his brother1 the senator. It would seem, from the representations made to me, and these letters, that the demands of Col. Smith greatly distract the contractor; that he is kept in a state of uncertainty how long any orders requiring the issue of fresh or salt provisions is to be continued, that consequently it is out of his power to make arrangements for the supplies; and that provisions have been rejected, to his loss, contrary to the contract.

Let me request your serious attention to these complaints. It is pretty evident, that men who wish in future to enter into contracts, will keep in view these difficulties, and provide against their operation by a correspondent increase in the price of the rations.

You will be pleased to return me the letters.

Yours truely

James McHenry

Gen. Alexr. Hamilton

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress; ADfS, James McHenry Papers, Library of Congress.

1Elias B. Dayton to Jonathan Dayton, April 28, May 2, 1800 (ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress). In the first of these letters, Dayton stated that Lieutenant Colonel William S. Smith had refused to accept pork supplied by Dayton. In the second letter he reported that Smith had refused to accept beef supplied by Dayton. In both instances, Dayton insisted, the meat was satisfactory.

See also Smith to H, May 1, 1800 (listed in the appendix to this volume).

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