Alexander Hamilton Papers
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From Alexander Hamilton to James McHenry, 24 May 1799

To James McHenry

New York, May 24, 1799. “… I shall confer with Col Smith on the subject of his Major1 and communicate the result.… I am of opinion that the hat ought to be delivered with its furniture complete.2 It will often be no easy matter for the Officers to supply a deficiency; and it is one of those instances in which œconomy will be likely to disgust by the air of excessive parsimony. Will it not be well to authorize the Commandants to make provision as to the hats already delivered? Patterns shall shortly be forwarded not only of the articles you mention but of cloathing and accoutrements generally.…”

ADf, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1On May 7, 1799, H wrote to McHenry that Lieutenant Colonel William S. Smith, commandant of the Twelfth Regiment of Infantry, had recommended that Theodosius Fowler be appointed a major in his regiment. On May 16, 1799, in a letter listed in the appendix to this volume, Smith wrote to H that he had changed his mind about Fowler’s appointment and instead recommended Dowe J. Fondey. H sent Smith’s new recommendation to McHenry on May 22, 1799 (in a letter listed in the appendix to this volume), and McHenry replied on the next day (in a letter listed in the appendix to this volume) that the President had already approved the appointment of Fowler but that he would wait for H’s advice “whether to send Mr Fowler his letter of appointment, or to bring the person before the President who appears, upon an after thought, to be preferred by the Lt Colonel of the Regiment.”

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