From Abraham Ellery1
Newport [Rhode Island] May 14, 1799. “… Adjutant General North,2 in a letter, of the 30th. ult., did me the honor to offer me, the appointment of Assistant Adjutant Genl. and requests me to communicate to you, my answer, in case of acceptance. From a total inexperience of its duties, I felt a hesitation in making my determination, resulting from doubts of my adequacy to the employment, & it is with diffidence I now accept of it; but, I trust, no exertions on my part will be wanting to diminish my incompetence.…”
ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.
1. Ellery was a captain in the Sixteenth Regiment of Infantry.
2. William North. North, who served throughout the American Revolution and was an aide-de-camp to Baron von Steuben, held the rank of major and inspector of the Army from 1784 to 1788. He was a member of the New York Assembly in 1792, 1794, 1795, and 1796, and was speaker in 1795 and 1796. From May 5, 1798, to August 17, 1798, he was United States Senator, filling the vacancy which had been created by the resignation of John Sloss Hobart. See John Jay to H, two letters of April 19, 1798. On July 19, 1798, North was appointed adjutant general of the United States Army with the rank of brigadier general (Executive Journal, I description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate (Washington, 1828), I. description ends , 293).