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From Alexander Hamilton to James McHenry, 29 April 1797

To James McHenry

[Albany] April 29. 1797

Dr Sir

I now send you a cursory answer to certain questions.1 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.2 My Brother in law Mr. Rensselaer has just lost a favourite Daughter3 one & the Eldest of two Children without a prospect of more. The whole has thrown a gloom upon the family & my health is not the stoutest.

I shall answer your last by the next post.



ALS (photostat), James McHenry Papers, Library of Congress.

1For the “certain questions,” which John Adams had submitted to the members of the cabinet on April 14, 1797, see McHenry to H, April 14, 1797, note 4.

In replying to the President’s questions, McHenry followed closely the suggested answers which H gave in the letter printed above. McHenry’s reply to the President’s questions is dated April 29, 1797 (ADS, Adams Family Papers, deposited in the Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston), and was enclosed in McHenry to Adams, May 5, 1797 (ALS, Adams Family Papers, deposited in the Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston).

2See H to Elizabeth Hamilton, April 19, 23, 1797.

3Stephen Van Rennselaer, the eighth patroon, was lieutenant governor of New York from 1795 to 1801. He was married to Elizabeth Hamilton’s sister Margaret (Margarita). Catherine Schuyler Van Rensselaer, who was seven years old, died on April 26, 1797.

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