Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Robert Morris, 16 November 1795

From Robert Morris

Alexander Hamilton Esqr

Phila Novr 16. 1795

Dear Sir

I have a Negotiation in hand which will probably enable me to transfer to Mr Church the Deferred Debt which my Son agreed to pay him.1 Before I can speak positively a Correspondence which is opened with Boston must ripen, and I expect that the intercourse of a few Posts will reduce the matter to a certainty one way or other. I have $140,000 Deferred Debt deposited with the Treasurer of Massachusetts and my present Object is to redeem it by a payment in Money or other Paper.2

I am Yrs


LC, Robert Morris Papers, Library of Congress.

1This is a reference to a debt which Morris owed to John B. Church and which Morris’s son, Robert Morris, Jr., had agreed to pay with the deferred debt. For an explanation of this debt and the various plans of Morris and his son to pay it, see the introductory note to Morris to H, June 7, 1795. See also Morris to H, July 20, 1795.

2James Swan was Morris’s representative in the negotiations which Morris mentions in the preceding two sentences. On December 3, 1795, Morris wrote to Swan: “My Bond to the state of massachusetts for $50,000 is payable on the 11 May 1796 & my Bond for $33,333 33/100 is paya[ble] on 11 May 1797 both with Int from 29 Decr 1792 at 6 p. Ct. until paid—$140,000 deferred Debt is deposited & must be liberated if the Land is sold” (LC, Robert Morris Papers, Library of Congress). On January 5, 1796, Morris again wrote to Swan: “The want of money is one of the worst wants a Man can be plagued with & rather than Submit to it much longer I will consent to sell the five thousand Acres of Land under your management for one third of a Dollar p acre payable in the following manner if sold at Boston or in New England. I have 140,000 Dollars of Deferred Debt of the US pledged with the Treasurer of the state of Massachusetts to secure the payment of my Bonds to the said Treasurer or state, One for £ 15000 lawful Money and Interest from Novemr 1791 or 1792 (I do not just now recollect which) which Bond falls due on the 11th of May 1796, the other for £ 10,000 Lawful Money & Interest as above falls due 11 May 1797. If the Purchaser of the Land will assume these Payments & deliver up my Bonds and deferred Debt immediately, the remainder of the Purchase Money may be divided into two equal Payments, one to be made in May 1798 & the other in May 1799 with Interest, to be secured by approved Negotiable Notes in which the Interest must be included. If a better price & shorter Periods of Payment can be obtained I expect it will be done” (LC, Robert Morris Papers, Library of Congress).

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