Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from John Langdon, 28 June 1792

From John Langdon

Portsmo. [New Hampshire] June 28th. 1792


I was honor’d with your favor of the 18th Inst.1 by post; by which I see, Mr. Church2 supposes he was not one of the Owners of the Ship Portsmouth,3 at the time she was in France, in which he will find himself Mistaken, when he recollects, that he Came to this place with Mr. Moore4 and Mercer5 and Recd. his proportion of a very Valuable Prize, called, the New Duckinfield, which was Captured, by the Portsmouth; in the very Cruise, in which these expences, on the Ship were incurr’d; and at the same time signed, an Agreement and Direction, as one of the owners, of the Portsmo. to me, to fit out the Ship for another Cruise; there were also some small matters bro’t from France, in the Portsmouth, which he recd. his proportion of; Therefore there could be no doubt of his being an Owner that Cruise, as myself and the other Owners Consider’d and delt with him as such.

Inclosed is list of the Owners of the Armed Ship Portsmo, with the proportion each held. Mr. Archibald Mercer of New Jersey one of the Owners, and with whom Ive Settled will be able to give you full information Touching this Affair

I think Mr. Church purchased his part of the Ship latter part of the year 1777.

You’ll please Recollect the reason why this was not Settled in Course; The Demand was not, known till some time since the peace took place. I have the honor to be with highest Esteem & Respect. Sr. your most Obt. Servt.

John Langdon

A. Hamilton.

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1Letter not found.

2John B. Church. H handled Church’s business affairs in the United States.

3A letter of marque had been granted to the Portsmouth, a New Hampshire ship, on June 7, 1777. The owners were listed as “John Langdon and others, Portsmouth” (Naval Records of the American Revolution description begins Naval Records of the American Revolution, 1775–1788 (Washington, 1906). description ends , 420).

4Either Patrick or Philip Moore of Philadelphia, both of whom were engaged in extensive privateering during the American Revolution.

5Archibald Mercer, a New Jersey businessman and the deputy governor for the Society for Establishing Useful Manufactures.

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