Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from John Jay, 5 December 1797

From John Jay

Albany 5 Decr. 1797

Dr. Sir

Yours of the 4th Ult:1 relative to Mr. Richardson,2 was delivered to me Yesterday.

On Mr. Dunscombs3 Resignation, Col. Troup4 recommended Mr. Keese5 to succeed him, and in Terms very explicit. If I recollect right, he had conversed with Mr. Keese on the Subject. Considering the Population of New York, and the Delays which might be caused by the Death Sickness Resignation or absence of the Examiner, and the Inconveniences which Mr. Dunscombs Resignation had actually occasioned, I have been inclined to think that it might be expedient to appoint two Examiners;6 and in that Case, I had thought of nominating Mr Keese & Mr. Ab. Walton.7 Whether the latter would accept it I do not know. If he would I think he should be preferred to any junior Counsellor—supposing their Competency to be adequate. Besides, that Family has, on account of their attachmt. to our present Constitution & Governmt., claims to attention; and the fact is, that as yet they have recd. very little. It would give me pleasure to have your Sentiments on these heads, provided no circumstances or considerations should render it inconvenient.


John Jay

Col. Hamilton

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1Letter not found.

2Presumably Charles I. Richardson, a New York City lawyer.

3Edward Dunscomb, a New York City lawyer and notary public, had resigned as an examiner in Chancery. In 1797 he became clerk of the United States Court for the District of New York.

4Robert Troup, a close friend of H since the time when they had been students at King’s College, was a New York City and Albany attorney. A veteran of the American Revolution, he served as secretary of the Board of War in 1778 and 1779 and secretary of the Board of Treasury in 1779 and 1780. In 1786 he was a member of the New York Assembly. Troup was involved in land speculation in western New York and was associated with Charles Williamson in the development of the Pulteney purchase in the Genesee country.

5John Keese, a New York City lawyer.

6Three examiners in Chancery were appointed. They were Abraham G. Lansing, Gabriel V. Ludlow, and Edward W. Laight (David Longworth, Longworth’s American Almanack, New-York Register, and City Directory for the Twenty-third Year of American Independence … [New York, 1798], 55).

7Abraham Walton had played a prominent part in the movement for independence in New York, serving as a member of the Committee of One Hundred and of the First Provincial Congress which met in New York City on May 23, 1775.

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