Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to William Rawle, 13 March 1792

To William Rawle1

Treasury Department
March 13 1792


A foreign attachment at the suit of Paulus Kok against Theodosius Gerhardus Bosch was served on the Secretary of the Treasury and on the Register out of one of the Courts of Pennsylvania by William Will, Esquire, Sheriff of the City and County of Philadelphia, with summons, as garnishees.2 The Defendant was supposed by the Plaintiff to be a Creditor of the United States, which, in fact, is the case. I consider it as important that measures should be taken to ascertain how far the Stock standing on the public books, in the name of a public Creditor, is affected by such proceedures.

It is my wish that the right of parties to attach the public Stock may be seriously examined and contested—and in a way that will finally secure a decision in the Supreme Court of the United States. I deem it of considerable moment that such a right should not appear to exist.

You will be pleased to communicate the matter to the Attorney General, that the United States may avail themselves of his cooperation, and I shall also make the case known to him.

I am, Sir, with great consideration,   Sir, Your Mo. Obed Servant

Alexander Hamilton

Wm Rawle Esquire

LS, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

1Rawle was United States attorney for the District of Pennsylvania.

2Presumably this action was taken in connection with Bosch’s New York debts, for on March 10, 1792, The [New York] Daily Advertiser carried the following notice:

“By order of the honorable John Sloss Hobart, Esquire, one of the justices of the supreme court of the state of New York, Notice is hereby given to Theodorus Gerhardus Bosch, of the city of Utrecht, in that part of the United Netherlands, called Holland, merchant, an absent debtor, and all others whom it may concern, that on application and due proof made to him, the said judge, pursuant to the direction of the law of the state of New York, entitled ‘an act for relief against abscondry and absent debtors,’ passed the fourth day of April, 1786, he hath directed all the estate, real and personal, within the state of New York, of the said Theodorus Gerhardus Bosch, an absent debtor, to be seized, and that unless the said Theodorus Gerhardus Bosch doth discharge his debts within one year after this public notice of such seizure, all his estate, real and personal will be sold for the payment and satisfaction of his creditors.”

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