From Robert Morris1
Philada. May 23d. 1797
Accept my Congratulations on the arrival of Mr Church & his Family4 and I will thank you to present Mrs Morris’s & mine to Mr & Mrs. Church with the Assurance of the pleasure it will give us to See them here. I find by a letter from Mr Marshall5 that Mr Church would not Treat with him for the purchase of the 100,000 Acres of Genesee Lands Mortgaged to you, but he has found another Person that will and therefore He desires me to forward a Copy of the Mortgage I gave to you, with a declaration that there are no other Incumbrances & that you will assign or release the Mortgage upon receiving the principal & interest of the debt for which it was given. Thus you see my Dear Sir I am obliged to give you trouble, altho I wish to spare it & in order to take it off of you personally I should be glad that you would get an Authenticated Copy from the Office where it is recorded with a Certificate that there are no other incumbrances upon record, and have a declaration drawn & endorsed on the said Copy to be signed by you purporting that you promise & bind yourself to assign or release the Original Mortgage upon receipt of the principal Sum & interest for which it was given, all this except the signing your Name may be done by a person employed for the purpose & I will chearfully pay the Cost. Expedition is necessary as I have an opportunity of sending the Papers by a Gentln whom I wish to be the bearer and he will soon depart. I must also request that you will examine to see that the Certificates & declaration are such as will be likely to give satisfaction to an European purchasor. I am not in a situation to answer offhand as was formerly the case, every claim on my justice, I ought most certainly to pay that which you call for and I will immediately cast about to see how it can be accomplished; respecting which you shall Soon hear again from Dr Sir
Your Obedt & faithfull Friend & Servant
Alexr Hamilton Esqr
ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress; LC, Robert Morris Papers, Library of Congress; copy, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.
1. Except for the first paragraph, this letter deals with a debt which Morris owed to John B. Church and which he had secured by mortgaging to H one hundred thousand acres of land in the Genesee country. For this debt and Morris’s efforts to pay it, 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, 31, 1796, March 3, 27, 1797; William Lewis to H, May 4, 1796; H to Charles Williamson, May 17–30, 1796.
2. Letter not found.
3. This paragraph concerns a suit in Chancery instituted by Benjamin Walker to obtain payment of a debt which Morris owed to William Pulteney and William Hornby. See the introductory note to Morris to H, April 27, 1796. See also Morris to H, May 3, 10, 17, 31, 1796, January 7, 23, February 9, 27, March 3, 8, 9, May 20, 1797; H to Williamson May 17–30, 1796.
4. On May 22, 1797, The [New York] Minerva, & Mercantile Evening Advertiser reported: “In the Fair American, Capt. Duplex, from London, came passenger John B. Church, Esq. (Late member of the English Parliament) his lady and family.
“Mr. Church has taken his Excellency the Governor’s private mansion house in Broadway; and we understand intends making this city his permanent place of residence.” The Fair American arrived in New York on May 20 (The [New York] Minerva, & Mercantile Evening Advertiser, May 20, 1797).
5. James Marshall, Morris’s son-in-law, was at this time in Europe as Morris’s business representative. See Morris to H, June 7, 1795, note 10.