Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Aaron Burr, 15 November 1803

From Aaron Burr1

[New York] 15 Nov. 1803

Dr Sir

I have paid to Mr Thompson Seventeen hundred and fifty dollars,2 taken up the Leases of Ross & Duzenbury3 and left the Titles to the house in Chapel & Murray St. It was my intention now to have paid the Whole—But having ordered this house (cor. of Chap. & Murray) to be sold which has not been effected the balance of about 2000 Ds. is left to be discharged by Sale of the house. James Clapp who is my agent for this purpose has orders to pay you the money arising from this Sale which will be made without delay.4 Should any balance then remain, it will be forthwith paid.5

My bond to Hare6 was to have been without Interest. He writes me that it bears interest. Have you no recollection on this subject.


A Burr

Genl. Hamilton

My Warrant of atty to you may now I suppose be delivered up.7

ALS, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

2On November 15, 1803, Burr paid Daniel D. Thompson $1,750. See Le Guen to H, September 30, 1803, note 4. See also Burr’s statement of his account with Le Guen, January 1, 1805 (AD, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California; copy, dated November 20, 1812, in Le Guen’s handwriting, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California). For information on Thompson, see Thompson to H, October 7, 1801.

3Richard Dusenbury was a lumber merchant on Chapel Street, New York City.

4On September 3, 1804, Le Guen wrote to an unnamed correspondent: “… [Je] Vois que Mr. Burr a due recevoir Le montant de la vente de la maison qui etoit Entendue devoir Estre Affectée au Payement de Ce quil restait me devoir. Et Pour qu’oy dónc m’indiquer dernierement de m’adresser à Mr. Clapp, S’il en avoit touchée L’argent, et qui Diable pouroit rien Comprandre à une telle Conduitte” (ALS, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California).

James Clapp was a New York City grocer.

5Burr’s account with Le Guen remained unsettled until as late as 1824. On October 9, 1817, the Supreme Court of New York heard the case of Louis Le Guen v Aaron Burr and ruled “that the said Louis Le Guen recover against the said Aaron Burr his Debt …” (Judgment Roll, filed October 9, 1817, Law Judgments 1817, B-177 [Hall of Records, New York City]). See also Burr to Thomas L. Ogden, June 12, 1817 (ALS, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California). By 1820 Burr’s debt amounted to $5,032.72 because of interest, and Le Guen agreed to accept land as security for the debt (Ogden and Cadwallader R. Colden, who held the title to the land, to Barent Van Benthuysen, Charles Leggett, and Gerrit Quackenboss, who were to appraise the land, May 20, 1820 [two copies, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California]). Burr, however, failed to pay Le Guen, and on January 7, 1824, Ogden wrote to Ambrose Spencer, the former chief justice of the New York Supreme Court: “I am directed by Mrs. Le Guen to proceed on the Judgment against Colo. Burr or to enforce the Covenant against Mr. Colden as I may think most expedient unless some satisfactory Arrangement shall be immediately made. She declines accepting other Lands by way of substitute for those which were to have been conveyed and therefore this part of the Negotiation is to be considered as at an End” (ALS, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California). Mary Le Guen, who had been in France, was in the United States in 1824 to settle the family’s financial affairs. See Le Guen to Ogden, April 18, 1823 (ALS, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California).

6Charles Willing Hare, the nephew of the late Mrs. William Bingham of Philadelphia, became William Bingham’s agent in the summer of 1801 when Bingham left the United States for London. See Bingham to H, July 21, 1801. For Burr’s involvement with Hare and John J. Angerstein, see Alexander Baring to H, November 16, 1797; the enclosure to H to John Rutledge, Jr., January 4, 1801; Hare to H, January 14, 1802. See also Goebel, Law Practice description begins Julius Goebel, Jr., and Joseph H. Smith, eds., The Law Practice of Alexander Hamilton: Documents and Commentary (New York and London, 1964– ). description ends , forthcoming volumes.

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