To John Bayard, Elisha Boudinot,
and Nicholas Low1
[Philadelphia, June, 1792]
I have had a full conversation with General Schuyler2 on the subject of the several propositions which have been under consideration respecting the location of the buildings for the Manufactory.3 My original impressions on the point have been confirmed by the subsequent examination & I now entertain no doubt that the most adviseable course is to abandon for the present the idea of a Canal and to erect the necessary buildings near the Great Falls.
It is not clear to me that the advantages of pursuing the Canalplan would at any rate compensate the difference of expence; but I think it very evident that to attempt it in the first instance would disable the company from prosecuting with adequate means the subsequent arrangements necessary to the Manufactory.4
As to the location of the District or Township I think it ought to comprehend the little Falls and the head of the Navigation of the Passaick and ought to embrace both sides of that River the whole distance between those two points. As to the rest the more compact it is & consequently the more ⟨near⟩ly5 in a Square the better. Many local ⟨circum⟩stances unknown to me must decide ⟨the precise⟩ form. I once thought it might be well to take three Miles by twelve on the Passaick; but on further reflection I see no solid advantage in such an extension in length and there will be an obvious convenience in a more compact form. The police of the district in particular can be much better regulated.
Permit me to suggest that as soon as the location is made a Meeting of the Directors ought to be called at a very short day. Many things press & much will depend on going forward henceforth with ardor & dispactch. With very great esteem & consideration I am Gentlemen Your obedient servant
Messrs Bayard Low &
ALS, New Jersey Bank and Trust Company, Paterson, New Jersey; copy, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.
1. This letter was written to Bayard, Boudinot, and Low in their capacity as directors of the Society for Establishing Useful Manufactures. At a meeting of the directors of the society at Newark, New Jersey, at which H was present, on May 18, 1792, it was resolved that the operations of the society should be carried on at a place to be named Paterson which should be “located upon the Waters of the River Passaick.” It was further resolved that “Mr: Low Mr: Bayard and Mr: Boudinot or any two of them be, and they are hereby authorized to locate the said Town within the limits in the foregoing Resolution, and to make purchases of such Lands as they shall deem requisite for the purposes of the Society, and to employ such surveyor or other Persons under them as they shall deem proper” (“Minutes of the S.U.M.,” description begins MS minutes of the Society for Establishing Useful Manufactures, City of Paterson, New Jersey, Plant Management Commission, Successors to the Society for Establishing Useful Manufactures. description ends 37).
2. Philip Schuyler, H’s father-in-law.
3. The committee, consisting of Bayard, Boudinot, and Low, reported at a meeting on July 4, 1792, of the directors of the Society for Establishing Useful Manufactures. The committee’s report reads in part as follows: “That on the 29th of May last, they went to the Great Falls of Passaick accompanied by General Schuyler and several other Gentlemen well acquainted with the Country and the nature of Water Works in general, That they went over the ground for some Miles round, employed proper persons to make surveys and levels, That they found it practicable to take the Water from above the great falls carry it by Canals across the Country and empty it again into the River at several Places between the falls and Acquackanack …” (“Minutes of the S.U.M.,” description begins MS minutes of the Society for Establishing Useful Manufactures, City of Paterson, New Jersey, Plant Management Commission, Successors to the Society for Establishing Useful Manufactures. description ends 42–43).
4. The committee report of July 4, 1792, states that the desired canals “in all probability would cost more than the funds of the Society would at Present Warrant” and that “upon consulting with Colo. Hamilton, They judged it most prudent to fix the principal Seat of the factory at the Great falls and accordingly made a purchase of certain Lands described in a Map marked A …” (“Minutes of the S.U.M.,” description begins MS minutes of the Society for Establishing Useful Manufactures, City of Paterson, New Jersey, Plant Management Commission, Successors to the Society for Establishing Useful Manufactures. description ends 43).
5. Words within broken brackets have been taken from the copy in the Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.