To Josias Carvel Hall, 14 September 1799
New York Sepr. 14th. 1799
I have received Your letter of the eleventh of this month has been delivered to me. I approve the exertions you have made for the apprehension of the deserters, but doubt very much, the efficacy of the punishment of hard labour. However, if a Court Martial should shall be disposed to try that such an expedient, I shall will not object to the measure. I have heretofore spoken to you on of the frequency of desertion, and of the necessity of repressing it by severe punishment. ⟨I am⟩ It is not my wish to influence opinion in any particular case, but it is my beleif I beleive that a few examples of capital punishment, perhaps one in each regiment, will be found indispensible.
With great consideration I am, Sir &c: &c
(Df, in the handwriting of Thomas Y. How, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress).