Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to William Seton, 12 April 1792

To William Seton

Philad. April 12. 1792

My Dear Sir

I have your letters of the 10th1 & 11th and more to my distress than surprise I learn by other letters a confirmation of what you apprehended namely Mr. Macombs failure.2 This misfortune has I fear a long tail to it.

The inclosed3 you will perceive gives you additional latitude. The terms as heretofore, for six per Cents 20/ three per Cents 12/ & deferred 12/6.

You must judge of the best mode & manner of applying the sum. The operations here not being extensive, I have found it best to eke out my aid. I doubt whether this will answer with you. My reason was to keep up men’s spirits by appearing often though not much at one time. All is left to you.

You will doubtless be cautious in securing your transfers before you pay.

Some time since in a private letter4 I suggested a plan of relief something like the following.

All parties concerned to agree to liquidate all contracts not executed by stating Stock at a liberal value say 22/6. for 6 per Cents 12/ for three’s 13 for deferred—to adjust all differences according to the actual differences between these rates and the sums stipulated & to pay and receive those differences in Stock at the above prices.

Many good consequences would have arisen from such a plan. I think it might have parried the misfortune. I fear it is now too late but something like it may perhaps break the force of the Evil.

Yours affecty

A Hamilton

Wm. Seton Esqr

ALS, Bank of New York, New York City; incomplete copy, in Seton’s handwriting, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1Letter not found.

2Alexander Macomb, a leading New York speculator and partner of William Duer, went into bankruptcy on April 12, 1792.

4Letter not found. See, however, H to Seton, March 25, 1792.

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