Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to Henry Lee, 4 October [1794]

To Henry Lee

Carlisle1 [Pennsylvania] Oct 4 [1794]

My Dear Lee

There is something about our friend Smith2 that perplexes and distresses me. I cannot suppose any thing wrong yet it is certain that he has done nothing but paint black from the beginning.3 However the force of Maryland may be suffered to melt away it is a consolation that a sufficient force will be had elsewhere. Smith is mistaken when he supposes Pensylvania will do nothing. She has now on the ground 1500 men & there is every probability of another 1500 by the 10th instant. Jersey has here also 500 horse & 500 infantry & another Regiment of infantry will be here by the 10th. In my opinion this force alone would be fully adequate to the object though I hold with you the principle sacred that nothing is to be risked, & therefore felicitate you & myself on the prospect of a more adequate force. In the humour Friend Smith seems to be in it may be adviseable to facilitate to him a return to Maryland.


A Hamilton

Govr. Lee

ALS, The Hamilton Library and Historical Association of Cumberland County, Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

1George Washington and H had left Philadelphia on September 30, 1794, and arrived in Carlisle on October 4.

2Samuel Smith, commander of the Maryland militia.

3For Smith’s complaints, see Thomas Sim Lee to H, September 30, 1794, note 1. In addition, as early as August 26, 1794, Edmund Randolph had written to Washington: “I have received a letter from Colo S. Smith of Baltimore, which I will lay before you in the morning. He considers the militia-law of Maryland, as insufficient for the purpose of drawing forth the quota, required from that state; and expresses himself with great strength against shedding blood, if it can be in any manner avoided” (ALS, RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters, 1790–1799, National Archives; LC, RG 59, Domestic Letters of the Department of State, Vol. 7, June 26–November 30, 1794, National Archives).

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