From James McHenry
Philadelphia 2 June 1800
My dear Sir.
I placed Mr. Stoddert (who acts as Secretary of war under a temporary commission)1 this morning about 11 o’clock in the chair I have usually occupied; I then formally laid upon his head eight volumes of the “code militaire” by Briquet2 with Caesars commentaries in French; kept them upon it ’till he was nearly stupified, when I pronounced him duly installed and as well qualified to discharge the duties of Secretary of War as the President.
Return me the enclosed papers—without taking a copy of any part thereof; the original was dispatched yesterday to the old man.3 What feelings it will excite, or how he will treat the subject I shall not anticipate. Return me also the copies of letters sent you some time since relative to Col. Smith and Tousard4 under cover to the Secry. of War, directed to me in my private capacity.
I do not think I shall be able to leave this City for Baltimore before the middle of the month.
I am dear Hamilton Your sincere friend
Major General Hamilton.
ADf, James McHenry Papers, Library of Congress.
1. See McHenry to H, first letter of May 20, 1800, note 16.
2. Pierre de Briquet, Code militaire, ou Compilation des ordonnances des roys de France concernant les gens de guerre, par le Sr de Briquet,… (Paris: Brault pére, 1761).
3. On verso McHenry wrote: “2 June 1800
To Majr. Gen. Alex Hamilton sent.
2 letters to the President dated 31 May ulto
Letter to Major Stagg
& Major Staggs answer.”
McHenry sent other enclosures to Adams, not all of which he sent to H. See notes 7, 8, and 9.