Alexander Hamilton Papers
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To Alexander Hamilton from John Jay, 30 August 1798

From John Jay1

Albany 30th Augt. 1798

Dear Sir

I was this morning favd. with yours of the 27 Inst: I regret the circumstances which prevented our seeing each other when you was here. There are several Topics on which I wish to converse with you, & particularly respecting military arrangements at N York. The Riffle Corps & a few of the new Light Infantry Companies are established—there were Reasons, which I shall mention when we meet, which induced me to suspend a Decision relative to the others for the present. The Objections stated in the petitions are not in my Judgmt. conclusive—so soon as the Commissions advised by the Council are dispatched, I purpose to set out for New York. The Defence of the Port &ca. in my opinion should be under your Direction.2 The measures will be concerted between us. The Council will meet again before the Session, and all such new Corps as ought to be established will then without Difficulty be organized ultimately. I think with you on the subject of Resignations.

It is with me a question whether any Person convicted of Forgery ought to be pardoned at present, when offences of that kind abound. As yet I have not pardoned any convicts of that Description, except in cases where the convictions turned on a Ballance of Evidence, and where Guilt was probable but not certain. Mr. Murray3 has just been with me on this Subject. I shall take it into further Consideration, but fear the objections will prove insuperable. The young man’s father & Family are to be pitied; but the Power to pardon is a Trust, to be exercised on Principles of sound discretion, combining Policy Justice and Humanity. We will talk this matter over. I have an Idea of putting the Light Corps into a Regt. and making our friend Troup4 Col. of it.

I am Dr Sir   Yours sincerely

John Jay

Majr. Genl. Hamilton

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1For background to this letter, see the introductory note to H to James McHenry, June 1, 1798.

3John Murray, one of New York’s richest merchants, served as a director of the Bank of New York from 1789 to 1794. In 1798 he was a director of the New York Office of Discount and Deposit and president of the New York City Chamber of Commerce. He owned property on Murray Hill in New York City.

4Robert Troup, a New York City and Albany lawyer, had been a close friend of H since the time when they had been students at King’s College. A veteran of the American Revolution, Troup served as secretary of the Board of War in 1778 and 1779 and secretary of the Board of Treasury in 1779 and 1780. In 1786 he was a member of the New York Assembly. Troup was involved in land speculation in western New York and was associated with Charles Williamson in the development of the Pulteney purchase in the Genesee country.

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