Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Jeremiah Olney, 16 December 1794

From Jeremiah Olney1

Custom House
District of Providence 16th Decer. 1794


I have the Honor to Transmit (under cover of your care) for the Clerk of the Supreme Court of the United States, the writs of Error and Citations with copies of the proceedings (before the State court) in the Suits of Welcome Arnold and Edward Dexter, against me, relative to the Brigantine Neptune. I respectfully request Sir, after examining those papers, you will please to cause them to be lodged with the Clerk aforesaid, and that you will Seasonably, acquaint me whether it will be expedient for me, personally, to attend the Tryal in Feby. next at Philadelphia and whether it will be important for me to engage (as counsil to assist the Attorney General of the United States) David Leonard Barnes Esqr. who has had the chief management of those Suits since the Death of the late District Attorney.2 As my attendance at Philadelphia, or that of Counsil from hence would be a considerable Expense to the public, I have deemed it my indispensable Duty (as I have heretofore) not to take a Single step relative to the Subject in question, but such as you may think Proper to Direct which shall be particularly and promptly executed. The enclosed assignments of Error are with Deference, Submitted by Mr. Barnes, and which will be Subject to the revision of the Attorney Genl. of the United States.

I am very respectfully   Sir   Your Most Obedt. Hum. Serv.

Jereh. Olney Collr.

Alexander Hamilton Esqr.
Secretary of the Treasury.

ADfS, Rhode Island Historical Society, Providence.

2Shortly after the death in September, 1793, of William Channing, who had been United States attorney for the District of Rhode Island, Olney wrote to H: “I have taken the Liberty to recommend to the President, David Leonard Barnes Esqr. of this Town attorney at Law as a gentleman well qualified to fill the Office of District Attorney” (Olney to H, October 7, 1793). The President, however, did not take Olney’s advice, for on January 24, 1794, he nominated Ray Greene for the position (Executive Journal, I description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate (Washington, 1828),I. description ends , 147). Greene held this position until 1797, when he was succeeded by Barnes (Executive Journal, I description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate (Washington, 1828),I. description ends , 252).

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