Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to William S. Smith, 1 May 1799

To William S. Smith1

New York May 1st. 1799


It is proper for you to be informed officially that I have appointed Capt. Church of your Regiment my Aid de Camp.2 I am sensible that in strict propriety, this ought to have been done previous to his appointment—in order that you might have had an opportunity to state to me if any particular reasons, in respect to the interests of the Regiment stood in the way of the appointment. The Omission I trust will be considered as the mere effect of inadvertence. It will be my constant aim to pay due respect to every Officer and to no one more than to yourself.

Captain Church nevertheless has my permission to commence the recruiting services for his Company and is ready to obey your Commands for this purpose.

The Agent for the Contractor has informed me that he waits your particular instructions to make provision for the recruits at the respective Rendezvouses.

With great Consideration   I am Sir   Yr. Obedient servant

Lieut. Col: Smith

Copy, in the handwriting of Ethan Brown, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1Smith, who was John Adams’s son-in-law, held the rank of lieutenant colonel at the end of the American Revolution. After a brief tour of Europe with Francisco de Miranda, he returned to America and successively held the offices of United States marshal for New York and supervisor of the revenue for the District of New York. For his land speculations and financial difficulties, see Benjamin Walker to H, October 4, 1796, note 1. On January 8, 1799, Smith was appointed lieutenant colonel commandant of the Twelfth Regiment of Infantry (Executive Journal, I description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate (Washington, 1828), I. description ends , 299, 303).

2See H to Philip Church, January 12, 1799. Church was the son of John B. and Angelica Schuyler Church and was Elizabeth Hamilton’s nephew.

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