Speeches and Resolutions in Congress, Mutiny of Troops


Alexander Hamilton was a Founding Father, soldier, economist, political philosopher, one of America’s first constitutional lawyers and the first United States Secretary of the Treasury.

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Alexander Hamilton: The Works of Alexander Hamilton, Volume 1, 1774: Speeches and Resolutions in Congress: Mutiny of Troops


June 21, 1783.
Resolved,1 That the President and Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania be informed that the authority of the United States having been this day grossly insulted by the disorderly and menacing appearance of a body of armed soldiers about the place within which Congress were assembled, and the peace of this city being endangered by the mutinous disposition of said troops, now in the barracks, it is, in the opinion of Congress, necessary that effectual measures be immediately taken for supporting the public authority.

Resolved, That the Committee, on a letter from Colonel Butler, be directed to confer, without loss of time, with the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania, on the practicability of carrying the preceding resolution into effect; and that in case it shall appear to the Committee that there is not a satisfactory ground for expecting adequate and prompt exertions of this State, for supporting the dignity of the Federal Government, the President, on the advice of the Committee, be authorized to summon the members of Congress to meet on Thursday next, at Trenton or Princeton, in New Jersey, in order that further and more effectual measures may be taken for suppressing the present revolt and maintaining the dignity and authority of the United States.

Resolved, That the Secretary of War be directed to communicate to the Commander-in-Chief the state and disposition of the said troops, in order that he may take immediate measures to dispatch to this city such force as he may judge expedient for suppressing any disturbances that may ensue.

1 This resolution, and those which follow, with the exception of the very next series, relate to the mutiny of certain troops at Philadelphia and Lancaster. Congress was threatened and insulted, and the Government of Pennsylvania displayed great feebleness. Hamilton favored most vigorous measures, and subsequently defended his action and that of Congress in The Vindication. His resolutions and other writings in connection with this incident do not strictly belong to his writings on government, but they show the difficulties with which he was contending, the way in which he met a danger that shook severely the crazy fabric of the Confederation, and the use which he made of this wretched affair to advance his broad and far-reaching schemes.



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The Works of Alexander Hamilton, ed. Henry Cabot Lodge (Federal Edition) (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904). In 12 vols. The copyright for the original of this document is held in the Public Domain. Font, formatting, spelling modernizations, typo/transcription corrections, and explanatory footnotes for this version of  ”The Works of Alexander Hamilton” Copyright © 2011 Steve Farrell and The Moral Liberal.