Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Cooper, and
David A. Ogden to Thomas FitzSimons,
Herman LeRoy, William Tilghman and
[New York, October 17, 1800. The description of this letter in the dealer’s catalogue reads: “Concerning the conveyance of 175,000 acres of land, probably in N. Y. state.” Letter not found.]
LS, American Book-Prices Current 1966, Vol. 72 [New York and London, 1969], 984.
1. This letter, which H, Cooper, and Ogden wrote as attorneys for the Holland Land Company, concerns the settlement of the company’s claim to one and one-half million acres of land in the Genesee country, which the Dutch had purchased from Robert Morris on December 24, 1792. For a description of this purchase, see H to Théophile Cazenove, first letter of October 14, 1797, note 2.
FitzSimons, LeRoy, Tilghman, and Pearce were the trustees for the creditors of Samuel Sterett and George Harrison, who were partners in a bankrupt Philadelphia mercantile firm. In describing the land held by Sterett and Harrison in the Morris Reserve, which bordered the company’s land, Morris wrote: “175,000 Acres, part of said tract No. 1, was conveyed to Saml. Sterett, to secure the payment of the Balance which I owed to him, and to Harrison and Sterett, estimated by their accounts at $400,136 92/100 but which upon examination of accounts I have reduced to $302,919 30/100 which I believe is correct, or nearly so. This conveyance is dated 4th day of May, 1797” (Morris, In the Account of Property description begins Robert Morris, In the Account of Property (King & Baird, Printers, No. 9 Sansom Street [Philadelphia], n.d.). description ends , 3).
In 1800 the Holland Land Company decided to purchase the two outstanding claims against Morris in New York in order to secure its title to the one and one-half million acre tract. The Dutch company received the support of landowners in the Reserve, with whom they agreed to share the expense of adjusting the conflicting boundary line between the Reserve and the company’s lands. H, Ogden, and Cooper were appointed to settle the boundary disputes, and the three attorneys made their award on January 22, 1801 (“The Award,” January 22, 1801 [copy, Gemeentearchief Amsterdam, Holland Land Company. In 1964 these documents were moved to their present location from the Nederlandsch Economisch-Historisch Archief, Amsterdam; also printed in forthcoming Goebel, Law Practice description begins Julius Goebel, Jr., ed., The Law Practice of Alexander Hamilton: Documents and Commentary (New York and London, 1964–). description ends , III]). By this award, the creditors of Harrison and Sterett receved the full tract of one hundred and seventy-five thousand acres and were charged $5,672.95.