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to washington - Alexander Hamilton, The Works of Alexander Hamilton, (Federal Edition), vol. 10 
The Works of Alexander Hamilton, ed. Henry Cabot Lodge (Federal Edition) (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904). In 12 vols. Vol. 10.
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Nov. 19, 1796.
I duly received your letter of the 12th instant. My avocations have not permitted me sooner to comply with your desire. I have looked over the papers, and suggested alterations and corrections; and I have also numbered the paragraphs, I., II., III., etc., in the order in which it appears to me eligible they should stand in the speech.
I thought, upon full reflection, you could not avoid an allusion to your retreat, in order to express your sense of the support of Congress, but that the simplest manner of doing it was to be preferred. A paragraph is offered accordingly.
I believe the commencement of a navy ought to be contemplated. Our fiscal concerns, if Congress please, can easily be rendered efficient; if not, ’T is their fault, and ought not to prevent any suggestion which the interest of the country may require.
The paragraph in your letter respecting our Mediterranean commerce may well be incorporated in this part of the communication.
You will observe a paragraph I have framed contemplates a full future communication of our situation with France. At present it seems to me that this will be effected in the following mode:
Let a full reply to Mr. Adet’s last communication be made, containing a particular review of our conduct and motives from the commencement of the Revolution. Let this be sent to Mr. Pinckney, to be imparted to the Directory; and let a copy of it, with a short auxiliary statement of facts, if necessary, be sent to the House of Representatives. As Mr. Adet has suspended his functions, I presume no reply can be made to him; but, not having seen his paper, I cannot judge.
The crisis is immensely important to the glory of the President, and to the honor and interest of the country.
It is all-important that the reply to Adet’s last communication, to whomsoever made, should be managed with the utmost possible prudence and skill, so that it may be a solid justification—an in-offensive remonstrance—the expression of a dignified seriousness—reluctant to quarrel, but resolved not to be humbled. The subject excites the greatest anxiety.