Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from John Adams, 20 June 1800

From John Adams

Philadelphia June 20. 1800


The itinerant Life I have led has prevented me from acknowledging the Receipt of your favour of May 24. till this time. Your Sentiments are very Satisfactory to me, and will be duly attended to.

I anticipate Criticism in every Thing which relates to Col. Smith.1 But Criticism, now criticized so long, I regard no more than “Great George a Birthday Song.” Coll Smith Served through the War with high applause of his Superiors: He has Served abroad in the Diplomatic Corps, at home as Marshall and Supervisor and now as Commandant of a Brigade. These are Services of his own not mine. His Claims are his own. I see no reason or Justice in excluding him from all Service, while his Comrades are all Ambassadors or Generals, merely because he married my daughter.2 I am Sir, with much regard your most obedient and humble Servant

John Adams

Major General Alexander Hamilton.

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1Adams left Philadelphia the first week in June and went to the City of Washington to inspect the new Government office buildings. He returned to Philadelphia briefly during the last week in June before traveling to his home in Quincy, Massachusetts, where he planned to spend the summer. On July 8, 1800, the [Philadelphia] Aurora. General Advertiser reported: “The President of the United States has arrived at Quincy from the seat of government.” See also the Aurora. General Advertiser, June 7, 11, 17, 18, 19, 21, 24, 1800.

2William S. Smith had asked to be made commander of the Second Regiment of Artillerists and Engineers. See Adams to H, May 22, 1800; H to Adams, May 24, 1800; Smith to H, May 28, 1800; James McHenry to H, May 27, June 2, 1800.

Smith defended his request and attacked the appointment of Lewis Tousard in his two letter to Adams of June 5, 1800 (both ALS, Adams Family Papers, deposited in the Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston).

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