Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Ambrose Spencer, 30 October 1797

From Ambrose Spencer1

Hudson [New York] October 30, 1797. Discusses a case involving a land dispute between William Proctor, for whom Hamilton was counsel, and “Avery & others,” who were represented by Spencer.2

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1Spencer was a Hudson, New York, attorney. In 1794 he represented Columbia County in the New York Assembly, and from 1796 to 1802 he was a member of the state Senate. In 1796 he was appointed state district attorney for the third district, and in 1797 he was a member of the Council of Appointment of New York.

2In 1774 surveys were made for Samuel Avery “and others” for twenty-four thousand acres of land in Charlotte County and for Humphrey Avery “and others” for twenty-eight thousand acres of land in the same county (Mix, Catalogue: Maps and Surveys description begins David E. E. Mix, ed., Catalogue: Maps and Surveys, in the Offices of the Secretary of State, State Engineer and Surveyor, and Comptroller, and the New York State Library (Albany, 1859). description ends , 204). Charlotte County was located in what is now Vermont.

H made the following entry in his Law Register, 1795–1804:

“In Chancery }
William Avery Recd Retr. $25
Ebenezer Brackill Mr Proctor
Samuel Olmstead 39 Fair Street
Eliphalet Ackley
Ichabod Olmstead
and Ansyl Willey”

(D, partially in H’s handwriting, New York Law Institute, New York City). An entry in H’s Cash Book, 1795–1804, for February 24, 1797, reads: “Dr. to Costs & Fees Cash received retainer of Proctor v Avery 25” (AD, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress). On May 8, 1799, the New York Court of Chancery “ordered that the injunction issued in this Cause be dissolved so far as to permit the defendant to proceed to trial at law in the ejectment suits mentioned on the pleadings in this cause …” (MS Minutes of the New York Court of Chancery, 1798–1801 [Hall of Records, New York City]).

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