Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from John Jay, 26 September 1798

From John Jay1

Albany 26. Sept. 1798

Dr. Sir

I take the Liberty of communicating to you a letter which I have this day written to the Presidt. of the U States.2 and in which I have enclosed a Copy of the Act3 lately passed for the further defence of this State. If you understand the act as I do, and concur in the measure submitted by that Letter to the Presidents consideration be pleased to seal and to send it to the Post Office. But if material objections should occur to you which have escaped me be so good as to return it with your remarks.

I am Dr. Sir

Majr. Genl. Hamilton

LC, Governor’s Letter Books, from the original in the New York State Library, Albany.

1For background to this letter, see the introductory note to H to James McHenry, June 1, 1798.

2Jay wrote to John Adams: “During the late special Session of the Legislature of this State, an act was passed for the further Defence of this State of which a Copy is herewith enclosed. The first section of this Act appropriated a Sum not exceeding 150.000 Dollars towards the defence of the City and port of New York, and provides that the said sum shall be expended under the direction of the President of the United States.…

“It appears to be the intention of the Legislature that this money shall be laid out only in the manner which the National Government will recognize as useful and advisable. I therefore take the liberty of submitting to your Consideration whether as Majr. Genl. Hamilton is a national Officer in whom great confidence may be reposed, it would not be expedient to authorize him to concert with me the plan of laying out this money to the best advantage and to appoint him to superintend the execution of it. I think it would be best that I should leave the money in the Bank of New York, and appoint a proper person to audit and keep the accounts of the Expenditures directed from time to time by Genl. Hamilton relative to the works and pay them as they become due, by Checks on the Bank.” (LC, Governor’s Letter Books, from the original in the New York State Library, Albany; copy, Dr. Frank Monaghan, Washington, D.C.)

3“An Act for the further defence of this State and for other purposes” (New York Laws, 22nd Sess., Ch. V [August 27, 1798]). For the contents of this act, see H to McHenry, June 1, 1798, note 16.

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