Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from John Murray, 23 November 1798

From John Murray

Halifax Nova Scotia Novr 23d 1798


The command of His Britanic Majesty’s Troops in this country having devolved upon me by the departure of His Royal Highness Prince Edward for England,1 who had before communicated his previous arrangements It was with peculiar satisfaction that I became the instrument of delivering to Captain Sever2 of the Herald Sloop of war belonging to the United States of America 25 Cannon and 1876 Shot; and Captain Sever has actually sailed from hence with them this day for his destination and as it is to be presumed you are acquainted with the intention of carrying this measure into effect I thought it my duty to give you the earliest intelligence of its being fully executed to the end that you may do me the honor to report the same with my very best respects to His Excellency General Washington & please to inform the General that the terms of the original Bond of restitution entered into and signed by the Secretary at war on the part of the United States specified only 24 Cannon & 1800 Shot yet on the arrival of Captain Sever examining the Stores I found 25 Cannon & 1876 Shot of the same Calibre & have not hesitated to give the surplus of one Cannon & 76 Shot; conceiving by this that I only acted up to the spirit of the intention of His Royal Highness who was willing to shew the real good will of Great Britain to our Bretheren of America; and has afforded me the opportunity of assuring you that

I am Sir with great respect Your Obedient Servant

Jno. Murray B.
General Commanding His Britanic
Majesty’s Troops in Nova Scotia

Major General Hamilton

LS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1Prince Edward held the rank of major general. In 1798 he left Canada to return to England because of an injury he had received falling from his horse (A. Aspinall, ed., The Later Correspondence of George III [Cambridge, 1963], II, xxxviii).

2On October 6, 1798, Benjamin Stoddert wrote to Captain James Sever: “… there is a parcel of Cannon & Shot at Halifax, which are to be transported from thence to Charleston, South Carolina, under Convoy.… you will proceed with these Vessels under your Command to Halifax, and take on board the Guns & Shot, and carry them to Charleston … where they are to be delivered to … [an] Agent for the War Department” (Naval Documents, Quasi-War, February, 1797–October, 1798 description begins Naval Documents Related to the Quasi-War Between the United States and France: Naval Operations from February 1797 to October 1798 (Washington, 1935). description ends , 500–01).

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