Alexander Hamilton Papers
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To Alexander Hamilton from James McHenry, 6 June 1798

From James McHenry1

Philadelphia 6 June 1798

My Dear Hamilton.

I had reckoned upon the immediate arrival of the Secry. of Marine2 when I wrote you3 that I should leave this City for New York to-day. He will not be here before Friday. I cannot of course set out sooner than monday. I have requested Lt. Col. Doughty4 to join me at Brunswick, and will bring with me one Hill5 who possesses information which may be useful.

Yours sincerely

James McHenry

Alexander Hamilton.

ADfS, James McHenry Papers, Library of Congress.

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

2Although Benjamin Stoddert was appointed the first Secretary of the Navy on May 18, 1798, and confirmed three days later (Executive Journal, I description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate (Washington, 1828), I. description ends , 275, 276), he did not take office until June 18, 1798.

4A veteran of the American Revolution, John Doughty of Morris County, New Jersey, had been appointed a lieutenant colonel commandant in the Corps of Artillerists and Engineers on June 1, 1798 (Executive Journal, I description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate (Washington, 1828), I. description ends , 277–78).

5John Hills wrote to John Jay on April 14, 1798: “Having been Educated in … London and at the Royal Academy at Woolwich in the Theory of Engineering for near Eight years, in the practical part during the Revolutionary War, particularly at New York and its environs … I have plans by me of the different works that were erected by the British forces for the protection of the Harbour and City of New York, and … if you wish, I can have recommendations from most of the Old Inhabitants of the City of New York, and from Genl. [Henry] Knox, late secretary of War whose service I was in for four years” (ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress, enclosed in Jay to Matthew Clarkson, April 20, 1798 [ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress]).

In his capacity as agent for the War Department, Ebenezer Stevens hired Hills and George Fleming to draw up plans for the defense of New York City (McHenry to Stevens, June 16, 1798 [copy, George Washington Papers, Library of Congress]; McHenry to Hills and Flemming, June 16, 1798 [copy, George Washington Papers, Library of Congress]). See also McHenry to Stevens, January 12, 1799 (extract, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress).

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