Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Tench Coxe, 31 May 1796

From Tench Coxe1

Philad. May 31. 1796


Mr. Whelen & I do not understand that he had made a proposition to you to let Mr. Church take back what remains in their Hands of Mr. Church’s original interest in the lands sold him & Company. You will find on a revision of my Letter of the 17th. inst.2 that it does not convey that Idea and you will perceive on reflection that it could not. The matter stood thus. When you were here at the supreme Court3 Mr. Whelen informed you I had made a proposition to take to a certain amount, being an undivided sixth or a sixth by lot of the whole lands, as well of those they bought of Patterson, as of those bought of me & Mr. Church & he offered that if I would take a third (instead of a sixth) they would agree to it & ⟨tend⟩ the matter. Mr. Church would then have to receive his balance on the Accot. I told you that I feared that it might not suit me to buy so largely as my Engagements stood, but I would think of it. On reflexion I called upon Mr. Whelen & told him I would buy of them that undivided third part, which was of their whole 88 tracts as above. I could not expect Mr. Church to be concerned in this purchase, without he should give his assent because, besides the lands he & I owned together, and five lots more of the same parcel, which I owned long before Wheelen & Miller’s application, there would be many others, which had never belonged to him or me, but were all those sold by Mr. Patterson. I hear Nothing from them in reply to my offer, but I mean to call as soon as Congress rises, and if I can, will finish the Business. No endeavour of mine has ever been wanting. I then offered you the whole balance that would be due if Wheelen & Co had paid, to be taken out of another parcel of lands Mr Church & I had taken up together in 1793 at 2¼ acres for one. Calling Whelen & Co’s as cash ¹¹⁄₁₀—the lands I would give would be about ⁵⁄₃, tho the two parcels cost per acre just the same.

I am, sir, yr   obedient Servant


Alexander Hamilton Esqr.
Atty of J. B. Church Esq

ADfS, Tench Coxe Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; LC (two copies), Papers of Tench Coxe in the Coxe Family Papers at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

2Letter not found.

3H argued for the Government before the Supreme Court of the United States on February 24, 1796, in the Carriage Tax case (Hylton v United States). For information on the Carriage Tax case, see 3 Dallas, U.S. Reports description begins A. J. Dallas, Reports of Cases Ruled and Adjudged in the Several Courts of the United States and of Pennsylvania, Held at the Seat of the Federal Government. Vol. III, Second Edition. Edited, With Notes and References to Later Decisions, by Frederick C. Brightly (New York and Albany, 1882). description ends , 171, and the Goebel, Law Practice description begins Julius Goebel, Jr., ed., The Law Practice of Alexander Hamilton: Documents and Commentary (New York and London, 1964– ). description ends , forthcoming volumes. See also Coxe to H, January 14, 19, 1795; H to Coxe, January 26, 28, 1795; William Bradford to H, July 2, August 4, 1795; Edmund Randolph to H, July 21, 1795; Oliver Wolcott, Jr., to H, July 28, 1795, January 15, 1796; H to Wolcott, August 5, 1795; Robert Morris to H, February 10, 1796.

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