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Take my ideas and weigh them of a proper course of conduct for our administration in the present juncture. You have called Congress—tis well. When the Senate meets (which I should be glad to see anticipated) send a Commission extraordinary to France. Let it consist of Jefferson or Madison Pinckney & a third very safe man, say Cabot . Proclaim a Religious solemnity to take place at the Meeting...
The President of the United States, requests the Secretary at War to take into his consideration the following Questions and make report of his opinion in Writing. 1. Whether the Refusal to receive Mr. Pinckney and the rude orders to quit Paris, and the Territory of the Republick, with such Circumstances of Indignity, Insult and Hostility as We have been inform’d of, are bar’s to all further...
Situated as I am at this moment I am obliged to confine myself to very general hints respecting the paper of the 15 of April. As to the first head—I think it will be adviseable that the Speech should be confined to the foreign Affairs of the Country giving the primary & prominent place to those with France. This will make the main business the more striking. Domestic matters may follow in...
Private Dear Sir, Mount Vernon 3d April 1797 Your letter of the 24th Ulto has been duly received, and I thank you for the information given in it: Let me pray you to have the goodness to communicate to me occasionally, such matters as are interesting, and not contrary to the rules of your official duty to disclose. We get so many details in the Gazettes, and of such different complexions, that...
I now send you a cursory answer to certain questions. They are imperfect & probably will come too late. But court avocations and distress in the family have prevented any thing better. General Schuyler has been critically ill though now as I hope out of danger. My Brother in law Mr. Rensselaer has just lost a favourite Daughter one & the Eldest of two Children without a prospect of more. The...
To The first.   It is difficult to fix the precise point at which indignity or affront from one state to another ceases to be negotiable without absolute humiliation and disgrace. It is for the most part a relative question—relative to the comparitive strength of the parties—the motives for peace or war—the antecedent relations—the circumstances of the moment as well with regard to other...
I am indebted to you for several unacknowledged letters, but ne’er mind that; go on, as if you had them. You are at the source of information & can find many things to relate, while I have nothing to say that could either inform, or amuse a Secretary of War in Philadelphia. To tell him that I begin my diurnal course with the Sun; that if my hirelings are not in their places at that time I send...
By the last Post I was favoured with your letter of the 3d instant and thank you for its enclosure, although, on the same day, I had, myself, transmitd a copy thereof to the Secretary of State. I had doubted a while, whether to forward it to your Office or that of State, but finally resolved to send it to the latter, as it seemed more properly I thought, to belong to that Department. If the...
It is a little out of time, to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 9th ulto; but “better late than never.” and one object in doing it, is to pray you to thank Mr Bordly in my name, for the work he had the goodness to send me, through the channel of your conveyance. I presume the affair of Mr Blount will lye dormant until the Committee of Congress make a Report at the ensuing Session....
Inclosed are some papers, which were sent me shortly after my return to this City from Philadelphia but which from Mrs. Hamilton’s situation hurry of business &c have been forgotten. If there is any thing to be said to my correspondent you will enable me as speedily as possible to say it. I send you the 100 Dollars you sent me and a further sum to reimburse some money paid for me by Lewis ....
I have received your two letters of Aug 25th. & have read their inclosures with attention. Your letters to Gen Wilkinson of July. 21st. 25th. Aug 11. & 25th appear to me all weighed & prudently and judiciously written. I have considered them with much satisfaction & they have my entire approbation. I return all the inclosures with this letter. I think you are in the right to remove your Family...
I arrived, with my Family at this Place four days ago and propose to remain here and at New york, till the Meeting of Congress. Letters addressed to me, to the Care of Charles Adams Esqr. Counsellor at Law in New york, will Soon find me. I pray you to commit to Writing such Things are you judge necessary to be communicated or recommended to Congress at the opening of the session, and convey...
Your favour of the 2d instt came duly to hand. For the perusal of the enclosure I thank you—It is returned. We heard with much concern, but long after the thing had happened, of the accident which befel your son. We hope he is perfectly recovered from the fall, and you from your billious attack. Having no news to entertain you with, and could only fill a letter with the perplexities I...
I received two days ago your Letter of the 24th of Sept: with Inclosures— I am Very Sorry to learn your health has been interrupted, and heartily hope it is fully restored— I return with this all the papers I have received from you to this time—I have read them, but find nothing which requires any particular observations from me—My Sentiments are in concord with yours, and I pray you to...
I last night received your favour of the 22d and thank you for your Sentiments, with which in general I very well agree. At the Same time I recd your other Letter of the Same Date with its Inclosures all of which I return to you with this.—I thank you Sir for your indefatigable Attention to all these Subjects. The Letters and Instructions to the Officers especially to General Wilkinson appear...
This letter will be presented to you by Mr Elliot, the son of a meritorious Officer in the Revolutionary War. He has equitable (if not legal) claim to Land. I have advised him to shew you the nature of it. If it is within your power to serve him, I am sure you will. If not, you can advise him as to the course best to be taken. Always, & sincerely, I am Your Affectionate Humble Servant ALS...
The President of the U S. requests the Secy of State, the Secy of the treasury, the Secy of War and the Atty. general to take into consideration the state of the nation and its foreign relations especially with France. These indeed may be so connected with these, with England Spain Holland and others that perhaps the former cannot be well weighed without the other. If our Envoys extraordinary...
Knowing that the War Office has an Agency in the Western Lands, I take the liberty of putting the enclosed letters to General Putnam and Colo. Sargent under cover to you, open. By doing so, it supercedes the necessity of a repetition of what is therein mentioned. Another reason for giving you this trouble, is, that if Mr Massey is a Surveyor in the Northwestern Territory, it is highly probable...
Your two letters, both dated the 1st instant, came to hand yesterday only. I thank you for giving me the perusal of their enclosures; and as I am upon the point of setting out to a meeting of the Stockholders of the Potomack Navigation, and may be from home two or three days, I return them without delay. I had, it is true, entirely forgot my old Coach until reminded thereof by Mr Small; upon...
Relative to the claim of Lt Smith, who was appointed Judge Advocate to the Army by the Commanding Officer Genl Wilkinson in general orders, and who for sometime as it is stated to me rendered services in that capacity to the United States it is my opinion he is equitably entitled to compensation for those services. Though Genl Wilkinson does not in my opinion possess the power of appointing...
It may serve to prepare the way for a direct answer to the questions stated by the President to make some preliminary observations. 1   It is an undoubted fact that there is a very general and strong aversion to War in the minds of the people of this Country—and a considerable part of the community (though even this part has been greatly alienated from France by her late violent conduct...
Yours of yesterday with its inclosure are come to hand & will be attended to as speedily as possible. I take the liberty to trouble you with the inclosed to receive the amount (which though the accumulated interest on all my Stock from the beginning of the funding system will be short of 200 Dollars). When received, pay yourself one hundred, our friend Lewis seven, & deliver the rest to...
I regret that my occupations have not permitted me to give your report more than a cursory reading, before my being obliged to leave the city for Albany. I have put it under a cover addressed to you. If it cannot conveniently wait my return, which will be in a fortnight, it will be sent you upon a line directed to Mr. “James Inglis at Col Hamilton’s No. 26 Broad Way N York.” desiring him to...
Knowing nothing of Mr John Parker (whose letter I enclose you); of his fitness for the work he contemplates; or the utility of it when done; except bringing all these matters into a connected view; which indeed might be useful. But knowing as I well do, that many men when they want money, and do not readily know how else to come at it, are too apt to set projects of this kind on foot, to...
Your favour of——came safe, and in due time; for the information contained in it I thank you; your request was immediately complied with, as every one of a similar nature shall be. A Report is circulated in Alexandria and its vicinity, transmitted (it is said) in private letters from Philadelphia, that a correspondence has been discovered, or more properly, letters have been intercepted from...
Amongst the variety of matters which have come before Congress for the purpose of preparation, in the dernier resort; in short as a salutary measure at all times, & under all circumstances; Arsenals and Cannon Founderies, have occupied its attention. This leads me to ask what steps have been taken relative to the Site for one at the Mouth of Shanondoah? I will pledge myself that there is not a...
I have received your letter of the instant. Not having seen the law which provides the Naval Armament , I cannot tell whether it gives any new power to the President that is any power whatever with regard to the employment of the Ships. If not, and he is left on the foot of the Constitution, as I understand to be the case, I am not ready to say that he has any other power than merely to employ...
Our citizens are extremely anxious that some further measures for their defence should take place. Do me the favour to inform me confidentially what means are actually in the disposition of your department for this purpose when & how they will be applied. Yrs truly A Capt Hacker formerly of our Navy is desirous of being employed. One or two good men have recommended him to me. It seems however...
We have carefully attended to the subjects presented to our consideration, by your note of yesterday and now offer to you the result of our reflections. The idea of a succession of batteries from the Hook, to the City, very naturally occurs in contemplating the defence of this port, and doubtless has advantages. It would present dangers in the approach which may be expected to have...
I am not disposed to withdraw your attention from more important matters; or to be troublesome in any degree; or to press my correspondence upon you. But not having even heard whether my letter, of which the enclosed is taken from a Press copy ever reached your hands, I am induced to make the enquiry. I wish also to know what has been done with a letter of mine, put under cover to you (early...
Your letter of the 26th Ulto propounds a very serious, interesting & important question to me: a question that might have been answered with less delay if I had been as much in the habit since, as before I became a private citizen, of sending regularly to the Post Office on Post days for letters. The sentiments which I mean to express to you in this letter, on the subject of yours, shall be...
Private My dear Sir, Mount Vernon 5th July 1798. I am perfectly satisfied that the duties of your Office were not diminished by the business thrown upon it in the course of the present Session of Congress; and far was it from my wish to add to the trouble of them. I expected no more than a simple acknowledgment of my letters, and with respect to the proposed Arsenal at the confluence of the...
It is my Desire that you embrace the first opportunity to sett out on your Journey to Mount Vernon, and wait on General Washington with The Commission of Lieutenant General and Commander in Chief of the Armies of the United States, which by the Advice and consent of the Senate has been signed by me. The Reasons and Motives which prevailed with me, to venture on Such a step as the Nomination of...
Your letter of the 20th. instant, inclosing one from General Washington came to hand this day. The object you suggest in it is one, which no doubt deserves a primary attention; and it will be paid to it. But it will be useful, that I should shortly confer with you fully on a variety of subjects, and after receiving an official communication of my appointment, I shall without delay, repair to...
Your favour of the 18th was brought by the Post of yesterday. The nominations, according to your list, will be agreeable to me; although I retain the opinion, that Colo. Smith is better calculated for a command in the line, than for Adjutant General. But what have you done respecting the Quarter Master General? I hope, and trust, it is not intended to Overlook the character I recommended in...
The enclosed will say as much as I can, in favour of the applicant; except that I have heard him exceedingly well spoken of by others. Being a young man of Education; a Gentleman’s son who was able to give him little besides it; and sound in his Politic’s, notwithstanding the example of his nearest relatives; who are, I believe, without exception, in the opposite scale, I think he, and all...
Private Dear Sir Mount Vernon 27th July 1798 The Greyheads of Alexandria, pretty numerous it seems, and composed of all the respectable old People of the place; having formed themselves into a company for the ^defence of the Town & its Vicinity, are in want of Colours; and it being intimated that the Presentation of them by Mrs Washington would be flattering to them; I take the liberty of...
I last Evening had the honor of receiving your letter of the 25 instant, announcing to me my appointment as Inspector and Major General. At a crisis like the present I esteem it my duty to obey the call of the Government. Feeling too, as I ought, the value of the high confidence which is reposed in me, I beg you to convey to The President my most cordial acknowlegements and the assurance of my...
I send you a number of applications for Military appointments with br[i]ef notes of my opinion. Allow me to remind you in writing of my nephew Philip Church whom I warmly recommend for a Captaincy in the Infantry. He is the eldest son of his father, has had a good education is a young man of sense of genuine spirit and worth—of considerable expectation in point of fortune. I shall esteem his...
From a mistaken idea, numberless applications for appointments in the Army of the U. States are made to me. Where the applicants are known, or come under favourable auspices, I shall think it a duty incumbent on me to transmit them to the War Office. Mr Triplet’s family are respectable—of his medical or Surgical abilities I have no knowledge; Colo. Little whose letter I enclose, is the...
Your letter of the 25th instt came to Alexandria Yesterday evening, and was put into my hands this morn. For the Rules & regulations accompanying it, I thank you; and will read them attentively, if I am allowed time; but this is questionable, as I am assailed from all quarters, and by all descriptions of People, for Commissions, Introductions, recommendations, &ca to all of which common...
Scruples of delicacy have occasionned me to hesitate about offering to you certain ideas which it appears to me on mature reflection cannot be witheld consistently either with friendship to you or regard to the service. They are these— I observe you plunged in a vast mass of details. I know from experience that it is impossible for any man whatever be his talents or diligence to wade through...
To a person as well acquainted with the writers of the letters herewith enclosed, as you are, it is hardly necessary to add a word in further recommendation of Major Parker to an appointment in the augmented army. and yet, there is some thing so singularly meritorious in his whole family as Military men that I shd think I was not doing Justice to the Service were I not to advise—if in...
The letters herewith, from Colonels Fitzgerald & Simms, conveys all the information I am enabled to give you relatively to the characters of Captn Piercy (who is a good looking man—apparently turned of Forty) and Mr Bent. Where applications are made to me by persons whom I know, or from the Report of those in whom I can confide, believe are deserving, I shall pass them on to your Office; with...
Inclosed are sundry recommendations for appointments with notes of mine concerning them. I do not recollect whether I have heretofore mentioned to you Mr William Armstrong. This gentleman was a British Officer and served in the British army in America last War. But for a number of years he has been a citizen of this State—having also married in America and being the father of a Family. He...
Private Dear Sir, Mount Vernon 2d Augt 1798 Finding that I was not altogether correct, in giving the Uniform of the Company of Greyheads in the Town of Alexandria, I amend, as soon as possible, the mistake, by transmitting the letter of the Captn thereof—Colo. Simms—to Mrs Washington. Have you received my letter of the 22d of July? The enquiry there made, respecting the Quarter Master General...
The enclosed letter from Doctr Brown (of Port tobacco) to Doctr Craik, was this day put into my hands by the latter; who speaks favourably of the Medical abilities of the former. I wish to be considered in no other light than as a Vehicle of the application to the President, through you; for of Doctr Brown I have no knowledge, and of his fitness I can say nothing. One thing however, merits...
I have recieved your letter dated on the 25th. ultimo, informing me that the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, had been pleased to appoint me a Major General in the Army. Impressed as I am with the conviction, that our Country, is about to enter into a Contest in which its existence as an independent nation will be involved, I should promptly...
Private & confidential My dear Sir, Mount Vernon 10th Augt 1798 You will consider this letter as private & confidential. Dictated by friendship, and flowing from the best intentions. If then, any thing should be found therein wch may have too much the appearance of plain dealing, look to the motives, and manner of the communication, & my apology will be sought for in yr candor. From the moment...
The letter from Mr Ames to Mr Bent, containing further evidence to his good character, I send. The other letter from Mr Carter (who married a Niece of mine) though private, I send also but request it may b⟨e⟩ returned; what he says of a cert⟨ain⟩ character—may be treasured up, but reported as coming from him. His brother is an utter stranger to me, and therefore I can add nothing to what he...