Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from James McHenry, 18 November 1792

From James McHenry1

Annapolis 18th Novr. 1792

My dear Sir

We have scattered in air the long string of amendments that had been proposed to be incorporated into our constitutution by those who were no friends to the U.S.’s constitution,2 so we remain a free people and a tolerably virtuous people.

There are three or four bills before the house and to come before the house in which I feel an interest and which will detain me here perhaps two weeks.3 I shall then take my station at my little farm with my little wife, where if my health returns, I shall envy no man’s happiness. Before I leave this however I wish you could say something to me respecting Mr. Perry.4 The supervisorship of the excise of the Eastern shore I suggested to you long since. His exertions in a late election has been uncommon. The opponent of Mr. Hindman5 tho’ connected with good federalists is nevertheless the disciple of Mercer6 and would have been his implicit and devoted follower. This was known to his friends, but it became a family affair, and of course Hindmans friends were obliged to make use of all the means in their power. It fell heaviest on Perry. Give me some comfort for him—and destroy this letter.

Yours affectionately

James McHenry

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1At this time McHenry was attending the 1792 session of the Maryland Senate, of which he was a member.

2The constitution and form of government, as proposed to be amended by a committee appointed by the House of Delegates at the last session (Annapolis: Printed by Frederick Greene, printer to the State [1792]).

3McHenry attended the session of the Senate until November 23, 1792. He returned in December and took an active part in subsequent proceedings of the Senate.

4On November 19, 1791, McHenry had suggested William Perry as “an officer in the Revenue,” and in the summer of 1792 he had described Perry’s efforts in the election campaign of 1792. See McHenry to H, November 19, 1791; August 16, 1792.

5William Hindman, who was Perry’s brother-in-law, had recently been elected to the House of Representatives from the upper district of the Eastern Shore of Maryland. His opponent in the election was James Tilghman.

6For John F. Mercer’s views on public credit which H criticized, see H to Edward Carrington, May 26, 1792, note 18. For Mercer’s controversy with H growing out of the 1792 election campaign, see the introductory note to H to Mercer, September 26, 1792.

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