Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Robert Morris, 31 May 1796

From Robert Morris1

Alexander Hamilton Esqre
New York

Philada May 31. 1796

Dear Sir

I am sorry that the Omission & inaccuracy of description in the Mortgage Deed2 as expressed in your letter of the 26 Inst.3 should have occasioned you any farther Trouble in Mr Churchs Business.4 The Omission of the name was owing to that Tract not having been conveyed to the parties for whom it was intended by Colo Ogden, who made an Agreement short of my terms the Object being to discharge thereby Colo Smiths Mortgage but as Colo Walker will not discharge the Mortgage I will not agree to the Bargain of Mr. Ogden as it was not consanant to my Orders either as to price or terms of Payment. I have therefore conveyed the Tract to Mr Garrett Cottringer whose name is now inserted in the new Mortgage executed by me, and as I want no other depositary than yourself I will send both Mortgages by the Young Gentn. you have sent hither.5 It may be well however to have a line from you declaratory that the two are for the same purpose & that the Payment of the Bond will discharge both. Accept my thanks for the friendly terms of your last letter and be assured of my constant regard.



P.S. Suppose you were to make up a Company to purchase the 50,000 acres conveyed to Mr Cottringer, give me two Dollars per acre, discharge Colo Smith’s mortgage which is for 50,000 Dolls Six per Cent stock and pay me the bal.? You will get four Dolls an acre in about 12 Mos. and Colo Walker will give longer credit than that I suppose, or I will sell at 2 Dolls per acre as much as will discharge that Mortgage altho my Son Tom6 writes that Lands are risen so much that he advises me not to sell.

LC, Robert Morris Papers, Library of Congress.

1This letter concerns two separate mortgages which Morris hoped would secure the payment of two separate debts. One of these mortgages was for one hundred thousand acres in the Morris Reserve to H to secure payment of Morris’s debt to John B. Church. The other was a mortgage of the entire Morris Reserve to William S. Smith—and then to Benjamin Walker—to secure the payment of Morris’s debt to William Pulteney and William Hornby.

For the history of the mortgage to H and the debt to Church, see the introductory note to Morris to H, June 7, 1795. See also Morris to H, July 20, November 16, December 18, 1795, January 15, March 6, 12, 14, 30, April 27, May 3, 10, 17, 18, 1796; William Lewis to H, May 4, 1796; H to Charles Williamson, May 17–30, 1796.

For the mortgage to Smith and Walker and the debt to Pulteney and Hornby, as well as the relationship between this mortgage and debt to the mortgage to H and the debt to Church, see the introductory note to Morris to H, April 27, 1796. See also Morris to H, May 3, 10, 1796; H to Charles Williamson, May 17–30, 1796.

2This is a reference to the mortgage of one hundred thousand acres to H. See note 1.

3Letter not found.

4For an explanation of the remainder of this letter, see the introductory note to Morris to H, April 27, 1796.

5The following entry appears in H’s Cash book, 1795–1804, for June 2, 1796: “Account of Expences—Dr. to Cash John B. Church for expence of Clk sent to Philadelphia for Mortgage R. Morris [$]27” (AD, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress).

6Thomas Morris served as his father’s agent in the Genesee country.

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