From James McHenry
Philad. 8 Febry 1799.
I have received your public letter of the 6 and another (private) dated also on the 6th. The latter this morning.
Your instructions are and have been some days with the President.1 The moment he is pleased to decide so as to enable me to proceed you shall have them. I spoke to him yesterday, on the subject: he had not considered them, and seemed to insinuate the affair need not be hurried. I urged the necessity which existed to put you in possession of my orders, as soon as possible, for that no preparatory arrangements could be made respecting the recruiting service till then, &c &c &c.
The list you suggest makes one of several references annexed to the instructions.2
⟨Gibbs⟩3 I think would have made a good officer but it is a fact, that his character is very low in Boston, that he is looked upon as a triffler, and has no weight whatever in that quarter of the union.
I shall endeavour to fill up the vacancies in the New Regiments as soon as possible.
ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress; ADf, James McHenry Papers, Library of Congress.
3. This word has been taken from the draft.