James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Paul Hamilton, 24 November 1810

From Paul Hamilton

Capitol Hill Novr. 24th. 1810

Dear Sir

I beg leave to send you the letters accompanying this, received from Genl. Smith of Baltimore by yesterday’s mail, which I would in person have presented you with, but for an indisposition which confines me to the house. It is necessary for me only to remark that, the agency1 to which the General refers is a subject entirely new to me, having had neither conversation nor correspondence with him respecting it. I am Sir with great respect &c yrs.

Paul Hamilton

RC (DLC). Enclosures not found, but see n. 1.

1On 22 Nov. 1810 Samuel Smith had written to Hamilton enclosing correspondence to suggest that the agent to be sent to Denmark be dispatched with “Vessels of force” to protect American vessels in the Baltic. As Smith reminded the secretary, he had raised this issue during the last session of the Senate with his proposal “to vest the President with the power to Employ all our Navy in the protection of our Commerce.” Smith also wanted naval vessels sent to the Mediterranean and to Haiti, and he requested Hamilton to hint to JM “the necessity of his having the authority to Employ the Navy for the national protection.” Specifically, the senator wanted JM to include these subjects in his annual message to Congress (DNA: RG 45, Misc. Letters Received).

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