Alexander Hamilton Papers
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To Alexander Hamilton from Lewis Tousard, 10 March 1799

From Lewis Tousard

Newport [Rhode Island] March 10, 1799. Encloses a copy of his instructions from the Secretary of War.1

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1James McHenry to Tousard, January 16, 1799 (LS, letterpress copy, James McHenry Papers, Library of Congress; copy, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress).

McHenry’s instructions to Tousard read in part: “1st. You will examine with all possible attention, the Points and Islands upon which Works have been erected, for the annoyance of Shipping and the defence of the harbour, and approach by water, to the Town of New Port.

“2d. You will weigh maturely, and state precisely, their several defects and advantages, and propose such works only to be undertaken, as shall appear indispensible.…

“3d. You will calculate the lines and angles of the plans, profiles &c. in order to the formation of a just opinion of the solidity, thickness &c. of the parts of each work, and of the whole, and exhibit a detailed statement of the quantity and price of the different materials, and the cost of workmanship, and labour of every kind, with every item of expence necessary to their completion.…

“4th. You will review Tamany hill in particular and the Island of New Port in general, so as to enable you to determine whether any real advantage can be derived from the erection of a Fort on the said hill.…

“5th. You will state the number of Men, and Cannon, necessary to the defence of each work.

“6th. It will be proper, that you should take the first opportunity to visit Marblehead.…

“7th. Portland is also to be visited, the works examined, their defects reported, and such alterations proposed for the further security of that harbour, as may appear indispensible.

“8th. It being important to place the fortifications for the defence of the harbour of Boston, in a respectable state, you will make a survey of the existing works, and report such repairs or additions to them, as may be thought necessary and indispensible to the security. You will give plans and estimates of the additions.

“It is foreseen, that to execute this trust will keep you in Towns where you must immediately incur a greater expence than if you was in Garrison, or on field duty with your Regiment; that it necessarily requires journeys to be made, and by removing you from the Command of a Post deprives you of the double rations you would there be entitled to receive. It is proper, I should not overlook the circumstances mentioned and that an Officer should not be compelled to waste his own means, while employed in extra service of so important a kind. You will therefore be allowed for yourself and servant, at the rate of two dollars and twenty five cents per diem while employed on this service, and remaining at Rhode Island, Marblehead, Portland, or Boston, and at the rate for travelling expences … of two dollars, for every forty miles when the distance does not exceed two hundred, and at the same rate for every thirty miles for all above two hundred, and not exceeding three hundred and fifty.”

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