Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Josiah Dunham, 23 December 1799

From Josiah Dunham, 23 December 1799

Camp at Oxford, Decr. 23d. 1799.


I am just informed, that having held a Commission in the Levies from the Militia of the United States, since the peace, is considered a pretension to Rank.

You will please, Sir, to recollect, that pursuant to an Act of Congress, 80,000 Militia were detached, (in the year 1797) and, for a considerable term, holden in readiness, for their country’s service. In that detachment, I had the honor of having my name enrolled, as Adjutant; which Commission, in addition to that of a 1st. Lieutenant, I then held in the 23d. Regiment of the Militia of N. Hampshire. The fact, on which this statement is grounded, may be seen, by a recurrence to the New hampshire Return of the said detachment, which is, probably, in the Office of the Secretary at War.

How far this circumstance will operate in my favor I know not; but, you, Sir, will be good enough to excuse my making the Statement, which I conceived to be a duty, as it might possibly affect me, in the final arrangement of relative Rank. Should it have influence, for the sacrifice I then made, in business, and the necessary expences incurred, in arming, equipping, &c. I shall be amply remunerated.

I have the honor to be, with the most respectful consideration, Sir, Your Obedt. and Very Humble Servt.

J Dunham Capt.

16. U.S. Regt.

Alexander Hamilton, Esq. Inspector General of the Armies, &c.

(ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress).

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