To James McHenry, 2 May 1799
New York May 2d. 1799
My Dear Sir,
Your letter having informed me, that you some time since encouraged Capt Willing to expect a furlough, and having learnt from him that in consequence of this encouragement he had made arrangements and entered into engagements for the voyage, I thought it would compromit you to refuse the
furlough request. I have therefore very much against my own judgment complied. The precedent in my opinion is a bad one. Let me entreat you on future occasions to avoid the occasion of similar embarrassment—
(ALS, Columbia University Libraries; ALS [photostat], James McHenry Papers, Library of Congress; copy, in the handwriting of Ethan Brown, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress).