George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Alexander Hamilton, 19 September 1794

From Alexander Hamilton

Philada Septr 19. 1794.


Upon full reflection, I entertain an opinion, that it is adviseable for me on public ground, considering the connexion between the immediate ostensible cause of the insurrection in the western Country & my Department, to go out upon the expedition against the insurgents. In a Government like ours, it cannot but have a good effect for the person, who is understood to be the adviser or proposer of a measure, which involves danger to his fellow Citizens, to partake in that danger: while not to do it might have a bad effect. I therefore request your permission for the purpose.

My intention would be not to leave this till about the close of the month, so as to reach one of the columns at its ultimate point of rendezvous. In the mean time I take it for granted General Knox will arrive1 & the arrangements which will be made, will leave the Treasury Department in a situation to suffer no embarrassment by my absence, which if it be thought necessary, may terminate about or shortly after the meeting of Congress. With perfect respect &c.

A. Hamilton.

LB, DLC:GW; copy, DLC: Hamilton Papers.

1In August, Secretary of War Henry Knox had left Philadelphia to attend to personal affairs in Maine. Hamilton accepted responsibility for administration of the War Department until Knox’s return. Knox arrived at Philadelphia on 5 October.

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