Alexander Hamilton Papers
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From Alexander Hamilton to the Convention of the Representatives of the State of New-York, 26 July 1776

To the Convention of the Representatives
of the State of New-York1

[New York] July 26, 1776.

Gentlemen,

I am obliged to write you, to remove a difficulty which arises respecting the quantity of subsistence which is to be allowed my men. Enclosed you have the rate of rations which is the standard allowance of the whole Continental and even the Provincial army; but it seems Mr. Curtenius2 can not afford to supply us with more than his contract stipulates, which by comparison, you will perceive is considerably less than the forementioned rate. My men, you are sensible, are by their articles, entitled to the same subsistence with the Continental troops; and it would be to them an insupportable discrimination, as well as a breach of the terms of their enlistment, to give them almost a third less provisions than the whole army besides receives. I doubt not you will readily put this matter upon a proper footing. Hitherto, we have drawn our full allowance from Mr. Curtenius, but he did it upon the supposition that he should have a farther consideration for the extraordinary supply. At present however he scruples to proceed in the same way, until it can be put upon a more certain foundation.3

I am, gentlemen, With the utmost esteem and respect, Your most obdt. and most hum. servant,

A. Hamilton,
Capt. of New-York Artillery.

The Honourable the Provincial Congress.

Journals of the Provincial Congress of the State of New-York description begins Journals of the Provincial Congress, Provincial Convention, Committee of Safety and Council of Safety of the State of New-York. 1775–1776–1777 (Albany, 1842). description ends , II, 299.

1On July 10, 1776, one day after it had approved the Declaration of Independence, the Provincial Congress of New York changed its title to “The Convention of the Representatives of the State of New York” (Journals of the Provincial Congress of the State of New-York description begins Journals of the Provincial Congress, Provincial Convention, Committee of Safety and Council of Safety of the State of New-York. 1775–1776–1777 (Albany, 1842). description ends , II, 519). H incorrectly addressed his letter to “The Honorable the Provincial Congress.”

2On June 2, 1775, Peter T. Curtenius, a New York City merchant, was appointed commissary for New York. Curtenius and his staff of assistants were responsible for supplying the New York troops with provisions.

3On the same date as H’s letter the Congress received a letter from Cornelius C. Roosevelt, commissary for H’s troops, stating “that he had been obliged to supply Capt. Hamilton’s company with a much larger quantity of provisions than the rations stipulated for, which had enhanced the price so that each ration as by him delivered cost him 12½d. His accounts were enclosed” (Journals of the Provincial Congress of the State of New-York description begins Journals of the Provincial Congress, Provincial Convention, Committee of Safety and Council of Safety of the State of New-York. 1775–1776–1777 (Albany, 1842). description ends , I, 550). After referring the letters from H and Roosevelt to a committee, the Convention ordered, “That as Capt. Hamilton’s company was formerly made a part of General Scott’s brigade, that they be henceforth supplied with provisions as a part of that Brigade” (Journals of the Provincial Congress of the State of New-York description begins Journals of the Provincial Congress, Provincial Convention, Committee of Safety and Council of Safety of the State of New-York. 1775–1776–1777 (Albany, 1842). description ends , I, 550).

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