From James McHenry
Philadelphia 14th May 1797.
My dear H.
I received your letters and papers.1 I added to them, but changed nothing, for the train of ideas in both ran in the same channel and embraced the same objects.
The speech2 extenuates nought—recommends proper measures—promises a fresh attempt at negotiation—and declares the principles by which administration mean to be governed, in other words that the President will follow the principles of the late administration.
It is not perhaps precisely such a speech as you would have written—a little too plain. It may however be better fitted on that account for the occasion.
ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.
2. This is a reference to President John Adams’s speech on May 16, 1797, to the special session of Congress (Annals of Congress description begins The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States; with an Appendix, Containing Important State Papers and Public Documents, and All the Laws of a Public Nature (Washington, 1834–1849). description ends , VII, 54–59).