From William S. Smith1
Union Brigade [Scotch Plains, New Jersey]
May 28th. 1800
Major General Hamilton
Inclosed I have the honor of Submitting to your perusal a Letter this day received from The President,2 with a Copy of one from The Secretary of War3 which I should thank you to return. I shall make no comments on the observations of The Secretary, tho’ there are great Grounds. I should be much flattered if in your communication to the President, I should, if it is only pro hac be charged with the General superintendance, under you, of the Atlantic Posts, & should you conceive it your duty to retire, the Corps would at least be left in the hands of an American and not of a french officer,4 already overrated.
Yours with great respect
W. S. Smith
ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.
2. On May 26, 1800, Adams wrote to Smith: “Upon the receipt of your letter of the 21st, I sent a copy of it to General Hamilton, and the original to Mr. McHenry, and asked their candid opinion of it, without favor or affection. From General Hamilton I have as yet received no answer. From Mr. McHenry I have the inclosed, which is, I believe a very honest answer; and, although I am not of his opinion in all points, I think there is enough in it to convince you that it would be highly improper in me, and therefore impossible, to adopt your project” (Charles F. Adams, The Works of John Adams [Reprinted: Freeport, New York, 1969], IX, 61–62).