In the fall of 1798, when this volume opens, Washington was immersed in the business of creating a military force to deal with the threat of an all-out war with France. A clash over Alexander Hamilton’s rank in the army led Washington to contemplate resignation of his own post as commander in chief of the army, and the resolution of this affair brought no opportunity for rest as Washington engaged in the tedious task of finding officers for the new military formations. Despite all of this he still found time in the months that followed to build houses on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., seek the funds to put his financial affairs in order, oversee the marriage of Nelly Custis to Lawrence Lewis, and lament the divided state of American politics.
W.W. Abbot and Edward G. Lengel, eds., The Papers of George Washington: Retirement Series volume 3, September 1798 – April 1799. Charlottesville and London: University Press of Virginia, 1999.