George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Alexander Hamilton and Henry Knox, 2 May 1793

From Alexander Hamilton and Henry Knox

Philadelphia May 2. 1793

Sir

A conformity of opinion, and upon the same grounds, enables us to submit to you a joint Answer to the third of the Questions, which you were pleased to propose on the 19th1 of April to the Heads of Departments and the Attorney General.2

We have concluded that this mode would be more agreeable to you than a repetition of the same ideas and arguments in seperate answers. With perfect respect & the truest attachment We have the honor to be Sir Your most Obedt & hum. servan<ts>

Alexander Hamilton

H. Knox.

LS, in Alexander Hamilton’s writing, DLC:GW; LS (copy), DLC: Hamilton Papers; LB, DLC:GW; LB, DLC:GW; copy, in Knox’s writing, NNGL: Knox Papers.

1The LS in the Hamilton Papers, the copy at the NNGL, and both letter-book copies at the DLC all record this date as the “18th.” On 18 April, GW had sent to his cabinet a number of questions relating to American neutrality in the war between France and Great Britain, and he requested a meeting for the following day.

2The receiver’s copy of Hamilton’s and Knox’s lengthy response to GW’s third question of 18 April, which was written and signed by Hamilton and runs to forty-four manuscript pages, is at DLC:GW and is printed in Syrett, Hamilton Papers, description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends 14:367–96. For the mixed opinions of the cabinet, see Minutes of a Cabinet Meeting, 19 April, Thomas Jefferson to GW, 28 April, Edmund Randolph to GW, 6 May 1793. See also Jefferson’s Notes on Opinions regarding the Reception of Edmond Genet, 30 March.

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