Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from William Lindsay, 19 February 1790

From William Lindsay

Collectors’s Office Norfolk &
Portsmouth [Virginia] 19th. Febry 1790.


A Captain John Brown of this Port having obtained a Register at this Office for his Sloop Polly found it to his advantage to dispose of his said Sloop in Port au Prince on his arrival there and prior to the sale he lodged his Certificate of Registry in the office of the Admiralty, agreeably to the Laws of the Port. And it appears from the French paper inclosed and copy of a letter from a respectable Gentleman of Baltimore then in Port au Prince that on application for his Register he was refused and the same unjustifiably withheld from him.1 I therefore wish for your opinion whether from these circumstances he is not entitled to have his Bond cancelled.

I am respectfully   Sir   Your most Ob Servt.

Wm. Lindsay

Hon’ble Alexr. Hamilton Esqr.
Secretary of the Treasury.

Copy, RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters, National Archives. This copy was enclosed in H to Thomas Jefferson, April 20, 1790.

1The following documents, all of which are located in RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters, National Archives, were enclosed:

Captain John Brown’s Memorial to the Court of Admiralty, January 16, 1790.

Decision of the Admiralty Court, January 16, 1790.

Affidavit of the French consul in Norfolk, Virginia, February 12, 1790.

Affidavit of Captain Brown, February 16, 1790.

David Plunket to Moses Myers, January 16, 1790. Plunket, a Baltimore merchant in Port-au-Prince, states Brown’s case and asks Myers to confer with the French consul about it.

John Nivison to Josiah Parker, February 16, 1790. Nivison narrates Brown’s case to Virginia Congressman Josiah Parker, urging him to see H about the affair.

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