Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to William R. Putnam, July 1800

To William R. Putnam1

New York July 1800


I am proprietor of five shares in the lands of the Ohio Company,2 in respect to which I take the liberty to ask your assistance, ’till some general arrangement, which is meditated, shall be adopted by the proprietors in this quarter.

Having learnt that ⟨–⟩ taxes have been imposed on the lands3 w⟨hich⟩ require for its security a remittance of money—that 80 dollars will be equal to the demand for my shares I enclose you that sum in bank bills and request that you will have the goodness to discharge the tax upon my five shares. With great esteem

I am Sir   Yr. Obed ser

A Hamilton

William R Putnam

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1Putnam was the son of Rufus Putnam, a founder of the Ohio Company and Surveyor General from 1796 to 1803. William R. Putnam was appointed a surveyor for the Ohio Company in 1794, and he subsequently worked for his father on Government surveys.

2It is not know when H bought these shares, but he owned them as early as 1795. See Benjamin Tallmadge to H, June 20, 1795, note 2. A list of the shareholders of the Ohio Company, dated February 1, 1796, includes H’s name and records that he owned five and one half shares. In addition, on January 22, 1796, H was appointed to “a Committee in behalf of the Ohio Company … to examine, audit, and finally settle all the Treasurers Accounts” (Archer B. Hulbert, The Records of the Original Proceedings of the Ohio Company [Marietta, Ohio, 1917], II, 213–14). For a description of H’s Ohio Company land, see Rufus Putnam to H, November 19, 1796.

3See “An act levying a territorial tax on land,” December 19, 1799 (Salmon P. Chase, ed., The Statutes of Ohio and of the Northwestern Territory, Adopted or Enacted From 1783 to 1833 Inclusive … [Cincinnati: Corey & Fairbank, 1833], I, Ch. CX, 267–72).

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