From Baron de Rottenbourg1
London, July 3, 1791. “… J’ai pris la liberté de vous ecrire il y a environ 6. Semaines.…2 Aujourdhui je m’emancipe de Vous importuner une Seconde fois à la Sollicitation de ma femme … pour obtenir à la cour Federale une entiere reparation des Abus cruels que MMrs. Burr & Cutting3 ont fait de ma trop grande confiance et credulité.… Je vous demande mille pardons de mes importunités, mais persuadé comme je suis de la bonté de votre cœur vis à vis des infortunés innocents, et le de votre droitures, je ne puis que me flatter que vous ne voudrés pas lui refuser cette faveur.…”
ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.
1. This letter concerns the claim of Rottenbourg’s wife, the former Louisa Henriette Williamos, to the estate of her brother, Charles Williamos of New York, who died in Paris in the seventeen-eighties. In August, 1787, Rottenbourg applied to James Beekman, a New York importer and businessman, for an account of the estate claimed by his wife. Beekman gave Rottenbourg the following account of the estate and Williamos’s relationship with Aaron Burr:
“… Your Letter of the 26th August last we duly received respecting the Affairs of the late Mr. Charles Williamos, requesting our Information as to the State of the Property he possessed in these Parts and whom he might have authorized to administer on his Possessions.
“Although we had the Pleasure of that Gentleman’s Acquaintance while in this City, Still our Intimacy was not so great as to be acquainted with the Situation of his Concerns. However heard that he had purchased a Farm at a Place called Paramus (about 20 Miles from hence) in the State of New Jersey of Aaron Burr Esquire of this City.
“Accordingly applied to that Gentleman for Intelligence on the Subject, who informs that Mr. Williamos bought that Farm of him, containing about 300 Acres, Mills etc. for £1200 Currency on which he had paid but a small part of the purchase Money. Says there is due him thereon and for Services done in his Law Profession about £1100. That the Deceased owned in the Township of Stratton 24000 Acres, Value unknown. Likewise in the Patent of Gatehouse in the County of Ulster and State of New York 650 Acres, valued at £1800, though if sold at public Vendue, it would not fetch any thing near that Sum. That the late Mr. Williamos owed on Bond to Mr. P. Allaire £300. Also to Messrs. [W]all and Tardy of Hispaniola a considerable unsettled account as their Attorney has informed Colonel A. Burr, forbidding him to dispose of any of the Property untill their Demand is fully satisfied. And that his personal Effects were valued and sold for £60.…” (Philip L. White, ed., The Beekman Mercantile Papers [New York, 1956], III, 1245–46.)
In the Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress, there is an undated detailed account in Rottenbourg’s handwriting of Williamos’s estate and a statement, dated September 3, 1787, of the account with Wall and Tardy, both of which were presumably forwarded to H by Rottenbourg.
2. Letter not found.
3. Leonard M. Cutting, a New York City lawyer.