Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from John F. Hamtramck, 16 April 1800

From John F. Hamtramck

Pitts Burgh April the 16th 1800.


I have the honor to enclose you a Copy of my last letter to General Wilkinson.1

I have the honor to be sir with every sentiment of Respect your Most obedient and very humble Servent

J. F. Hamtramck

Gen. Hamilton

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1On April 16, 1800, Hamtramck wrote to James Wilkinson: “In a conversation I had with Coll. [John] Wilkins the Quarter Master Genll, I found that he had directed the Quarter Masters Stores at Fort Wayne to be removed to Detroit without my knowledge, I observed to him that the thing should not have been done without my authority; and further that I did not think the Quarter Master had a right to remove his Stores from one Post to another without the sanction of the principal Officer under whom he serves. Coll Wilkins entertained a different oppinion and as it was a point on which we could not agree, and which required a prompt decision, it was left to the Commander in Chief. This alternative was proposed by me, finding that I could not perswade him, and that the verdict of so respectable authority would put and end to similar controverces, and enable us both to keep up that good understanding which is so necessary in our profession. I indulge a favourable opinion of my position for if I have a right or authority to order those Stores back to Fort Wayne (which I believe admits of no doubt) it follows that it was necessary for the Quarter Master to have consulted me before they were removed.

“You will please to observe that I do not oppose the necessity of the measure, far from it, I think after leaving every thing which may be necessary for that Garrison, which is to consist of one Company only, that the surplus should be removed to some other place, particularly the Arms and other Ordnance Stores, I only differ as to the mode in which it has been done, that is without my knowledge or approbation, I shall be glad to know if it is your pleasure that the whole of the public Stores, except what is necessary for that Garrison should be removed to Detroit, or any other place, I shall as soon as the movements of the Troops have taken place, order reduction of public expences at each Post, Such as the Teams at Fort Wayne, the Garrison Quarter Master &c. &c. and all others which may appear to me surplus.…” (Copy, signed by Hamtramck, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.)

See also Hamtramck to H, April 14, 1800.

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