From James McHenry
War department 14th November 1798
I had the honor to receive your Excellencys letter of the 13th instant last night.
Some of the documents which were referred to in my letter of the 10th, I find cannot be completed by my Clerks, in any reasonable time. I shall therefore be obliged to submit the original books and records of the Office containing them, in their place, and request the same may be carefully returned.
You will be furnished in consequence, as soon as the same shall be wanted with, 1. The book containing a list of all the candidates and abridgement of their recommendations. 2. The original letters of recommendation.1
I have also thought it proper to add to these, which are now sent, the following confidential original communications from No. 3 to 9 inclusive, relative to the same subject, which I request may be returned viz.
No. 3. A lette⟨r⟩ from General Hamilton dated 21st August with a list of Candidates for Army appointments and his remarks.2
No. 4. Three confidential letters from Uriah Tracey dated 30 July—18th of August and 17 of September, with a list of Candidates.3
No. 5. A letter from J. Allen relative to disqualified characters.4
No. 6. Two letters from General Knox with inclosures dated 26th August and 2d November.5
No. 7. A letter from William Hindman dated August 12 and one from William Matthews dated 11 October.6
No. 8. Observations &c. on North Carolina candidates by John Steele Comptroller of the Treasury.7
No. 9. Two letters from Jacob Read dated 10th October and 26th Septem⟨r⟩.8
No. 10. The return of Troops and recruits and return of the Station⟨s⟩ for the same.9
No. 11. Letters from Brigadier General Wilkinson dated 6th and 9th of April, July 14 August 10 and September 6th 1798 with two letters from the Governor of Georgia dated 8th of August and 14th of October. These you will also be pleased to return.10
No. 12. Copy of a letter from the Secretary of War to Brigadier General Wilkinson dated the 2 August 1798.11
No. 13. Copy of a letter to Lt Col. Gaither dated the 23d August 1796.12
No. 14. Copy of a letter to the Governor of Georgia dated 25 Sep. 1798.13
No. 15. Estimate of the demand of the Secretary of War on the Treasury of the United States.14
No. 16. The return by the Superintendant of Military Stores.15
No. 17. Copy of a letter to the Secretary of State and Secretary of the Treasury dated the 14th instant on the subject of your letter of the 13th.16
Perhaps you would prefer that the selecting of fit characters for appointments should be made at this Office, in which case it will be unnecessary to remove the books and other documents. All the other papers are transmitted.
In conformity with your letter of this date I have added a table shewing the contract prices of rations at the several places where troops are stationed.17
The Superintendant of Military Stores I find has not the return quite copied.18 As soon as finished it shall be transmitted.19 With the greatest respect I have the honor to be Sir Your obedient servant
LS, DLC:GW; ADfS, MdAA.
1. McHenry indicates later in this letter that he will not send the books and letters of application after all.
2. Alexander Hamilton’s letter to James McHenry enclosed lists of candidates for army appointments from New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The lists are in DLC:GW at the end of December 1798 and are printed with Hamilton’s letter 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 22:87–146.
3. Letters not found.
4. Letter not found.
5. Letters not found.
6. The 12 August letter is in MdHi: McHenry Family Papers. The 11 October letter has not been found.
7. Letter not found.
8. Letters not found.
9. These would appear to be Return of Troops at the undermentioned places and Names of places at which recruiting rendezvous have been established. Both are undated and in DLC:GW at the end of December 1798.
10. Letters not found.
11. A copy of this letter is in DLC: Hamilton Papers.
12. A copy of this letter is in DLC: McHenry Papers.
13. Letter not found.
16. A copy of this letter is in DLC: McHenry Papers.
17. An undated List of contracts for the year 1798, to which is appended Prices of rations at the different posts, is in DLC:GW at the end of December 1798.
19. On 30 Dec. Tobias Lear wrote McHenry: “By order of the Commander in Chief, I have the honor to return to you the following letters, which were submitted to his inspection in your letter of the 14th of November—(vizt)
No. 4. Three confidential letters from Uriah Tracy, dated July 30th–Augt 18th and Septr 17th, with a list of Candidates.
No. 5. A letter from J[ohn] Allen relative to disqualified Candidates.
No. 6. Two letters from General [Henry] Knox, with enclosures, dated Augt 25th and Novr 2d.
No. 7. A letter from William Hindman dated Augt 12th, and one from William Mathews, dated Octr 11th.
No. 11. Letters from Brigadier General [James] Wilkinson, dated 6th & 9th of April—14th July, 10th Augt—and 6 Sept. 1798; with two letters from the Governor of Georgia [James Jackson] dated the 8th of August and 14th of October.
No. 12. Copy of a letter from the Secretary of War to Brigadier General Wilkinson, dated 2d Augt.
No. 13. Copy of a letter to Lt Colonel [Henry] Gaither, dated the 23d of August 1796.
No. 14—Copy of letter to the Governor of Georgia, dated 25th of Septr 1798.
No. 15—Estimate of the Secretary of War on the Treasury of the United States.
No. 17—Copy of a letter to the Secretaries of State and of the Treasury, on the subject of the Commander in Chief’s letter of the 13th of Novr.
No. 3—A letter from General [Alexander] Hamilton, dated the 21st of Augt, with a list of Candidates for Army appointmt with his remarks, was taken by General Hamilton.
No. 8 & 9—A letter from John Steele, Comptroller of the Treasury, with observations on the No. Carolina Candidates—and two letters from Jacob Read, dated 26th Septr and 10th of October, were taken by General [Charles Cotesworth] Pinckney, for his information in selecting Characters for Army Appointmts in the Southern States.
No. 10 & 16 are reserved by the Commander in Chief.
General Pinckney left this place on the 28th inst. with his Lady and Daughter in good health, and with a pleasing prospect of meeting no interruption in their Journey” (DLC: McHenry Papers).