Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Benjamin Goodhue, 8 December 1798

From Benjamin Goodhue

[Philadelphia] Saturday Evg Decr 8th. 98

Dear Sir

I have paid all the attention in my power the short time allowed me would admit on the subject of your letter,1 as I was wholy unacquainted with almost the whole of the names handed me I found it necessary to call together in confidence Messrs Otis2 Parker3 Sewal4 and Dwight Foster.5 The result of our consultation will be found in the list markd, in which

No 1 stands for good
2 middling
3 Bad
M   would in our opinion accept of a Majority
C   would  do  accept of a Captaincy
S   for Subaltern
E   for Ensign
DK for dont know their character

We have made some additions from our own Knowledge; in confidence let me remark that some of us are of opinion that Hunewell6 & Walker7 have the preference of Gibbs8 as Lieutenant Colonels and that Walker would accept a majority in case you take Elliot9 for a Lieutenant Colonel in his room which We think would be a judicious arrangement, for Elliot tho I am not much acquainted with him I have heard him very highly spoken of by Messrs. Cabot10 Ames11 and a number of others of our best characters.

I am with sincere esteem   Yr Affectionate Friend

B Goodhue

my Brethren seem very desirous to Know if Elias Parker12 is on the list of Majors for Virginia as they esteem him a valuable Character.

Genl. Hamilton

ALS, George Washington Papers, Library of Congress.

1Letter not found.

2Harrison Gray Otis.

3Isaac Parker, a Federalist and a lawyer in Castine, District of Maine, was a United States Representative from Massachusetts from 1797 to 1799. On March 5, 1799, he replaced John Hobby as United States marshal for the District of Maine (Executive Journal, I description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate (Washington, 1828), I. description ends , 144, 258, 325, 327).

4Samuel Sewall was a Federalist member of the House of Representatives from Massachusetts from 1796 to 1800.

5Foster was a Federalist member of the House of Representatives from Massachusetts from 1793 to 1800.

6Richard Hunewell, a veteran of the American Revolution, was sheriff of Penobscot, District of Maine.

7John Walker.

8Caleb Gibbs.

9Simon Elliot was a Boston merchant.

10George Cabot, who had been a Boston merchant and a Federalist member of the United States Senate from 1791 to 1796, had retired to Brookline, Massachusetts, in 1798.

11Fisher Ames.

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