Alexander Hamilton Papers

Enclosure: Further Measures Adviseable to Be Taken without Delay, [5 June 1798]


Further measures adviseable to be taken without delay2

I To authorise the President to proceed forthwith to raise the 10000 men already ordered.3
II To establish an academy for naval & military instruction. This is a very important measure and ought to be permanent.
III To provide for the immediate raising of a corps of Non Commissioned officers (viz) serjeants & Corporals sufficient with the present establishment for an army of 50000 men. The having these men prepared & disciplined will accelerate extremely the disciplining of an additional force.
IV To provide before Congress rise, that in case it shall appear that an invasion of this country by a large army is actually on foot—there shall be a draft from the Militia, to be classed, of a number sufficient to complete the army to 50000 men. Provision for volunteers in lieu of drafts. A bounty to be given.
V To authorise the President to provide a further naval force of six ships of the line & 12 frigates with 20 small vessels not exceeding sixteen Guns. It is possible the Ships of the line & frigates may be purchased from G Britain to be paid for in Stock. We ought to be ready to cut up all the small privateers & gun boats in the West Indies so as at the same time to distress the French Islands as much as possible & protect our own Trade.
VI Is not the Independence of the French Colonies under the Guarantee of the UStates to be aimed at? If it is there cannot be too much promptness in opening negotiations for the purpose. Victor Hughes4 is probably an excellent subject. This idea however deserves mature consideration.
VII It is essential the Executive should have half a million of secret service money. If the measure cannot be carried without it, The expediture may be with the approbation of three members of each house of Congress. But Twere better without this incumbrance.
VIII Revenue in addition to the 2000000 of land tax say
In lieu of tax on
slaves which is liable
to much objection
{ a Stamp duty on hats as well manufactured at home as imported distributed into three Classes 10. 15. 25 Cents
100.000 { Saddle horses 1 Dollar each excluding those engaged in agriculture &
Salt add so as to raise the present Duty to 25 Cents Bushel.
500.000 { Male Servants of those capacities by whatever name Maitre D’hotel house steward valet de chambre Butler Underbutler Confectioner Cook house Porter Waiter footman Coachman Groom Postilion Stable boy
For one such servant   1 Dollar
for 2 such servants & not more   2 Dollars each
For three & not more   3 Dollars each
Above three   4 Dollars each
One Dollar additional by Batchelors
100.000 { New Modification with greater diversity of licenses for sale of Wines &
100.000 1 Cent on all succession by descent or devise
IX A loan of 10,000 000 of Dollars. The interest to be such as will insure the loan at par. Tis better to give high interest redeemable at pleasure than low interest with accumulation of Capital as in England.

2AD, Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford; copy, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

In JCHW description begins John C. Hamilton, ed., The Works of Alexander Hamilton (New York, 1851–1856). description ends , VII, 686, and HCLW description begins Henry Cabot Lodge, ed., The Works of Alexander Hamilton (New York, 1904). description ends , VII, 48, this enclosure is entitled “Measures for Defence” and is dated “1799”.

3See “An Act authorizing the President of the United States to raise a Provisional Army” (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America (Boston, 1845). description ends 558–61 [May 28, 1798]).

4Victor Hugues was the French Directory’s special agent in the French West Indies. See John Williams to H, June 7, 1797.

Index Entries