Front Page Titles (by Subject) hamilton to mchenry - The Works of Alexander Hamilton, (Federal Edition), vol. 7
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
hamilton to mchenry - Alexander Hamilton, The Works of Alexander Hamilton, (Federal Edition), vol. 7 
The Works of Alexander Hamilton, ed. Henry Cabot Lodge (Federal Edition) (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904). In 12 vols. Vol. 7.
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
hamilton to mchenry
June 27, 1799.
It is a pity, my dear sir, and a reproach, that our administration have no general plan. Certainly there ought to be one formed without delay. If the chief is too desultory, his ministry ought to be more united and steady, and well-settled in some reasonable system of measures.
Among other things, it should be agreed what precise force should be created, naval and land, and this proportioned to the state of our finances. It will be ridiculous to raise troops, and immediately after to disband them. Six ships of the line and twenty frigates and sloops of war are desirable. More would not now be comparatively expedient. It is desirable to complete and prepare the land force which has been provided for by law. Besides eventual security against invasion, we ought certainly to look to the possession of the Floridas and Louisiana, and we ought to squint at South America.
Is it possible that the accomplishment of these objects can be attended with financial difficulty? I deny the possibility. Our revenue can be considerably reinforced. The progress of the country will quickly supply small deficiencies, and these can be temporarily satisfied by loans, provided our loans are made on the principle that we require the aliment of European capital,—that lenders are to gain, and their gains to be facilitated, not obstructed.
If all this is not true, our situation is much worse than I had any idea of. But I have no doubt that it is easy to devise the means of execution.
And if there was everywhere a disposition, without prejudice and nonsense, to concert a rational plan, I would cheerfully come to Philadelphia and assist in it; nor can I doubt that success may be insured.
Break this subject to our friend Pickering. His views are sound and energetic. Try together to bring the other gentlemen to a consultation. If there is everywhere a proper temper, and it is wished, send for me, and I will come.