Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Tench Coxe, 25 September 1794

From Tench Coxe1

Philadelphia Septr. 25th. 1794.


As you mentioned your intention of reinvesting the proceeds of the late Sale in lands, I have thought the following Ideas might be worthy of Consideration.

Mr. Church will have, as soon as the papers are completed, in my hands engagements equal in ready money to near 19000 Drs. if the Sale when adjusted includes all his share of the lands under Patterson’s & Stroud of which I have no doubt—say— 19000 Drs.
principal when due & interest now due of my Debt—say 5300
24300 Drs.

For these I will give him, patented—

1st my third of the valuable purchase of Wm Steedman
& Co. intermixed with Mr. Church’s third
which you will remember their letters in 1793,
valued at 17/6
} about 4150 As.
2dly adjoining to that purchase 6800 As
3d within 2 or 3 miles of the above body 13350
Acres 24300

This property is about 75 80 & 90 miles in a direct line N. W. from Philadelphia. Its longitude west of Philadelphia is not 40 miles & of the city of New York about 100 Miles. It is 50 miles nearer to Philadelphia than Asylum (Tallon, Noailles & Co)2 & in the route to it from New York & Philada. & 1 miles N. E. & By East of the nearest parts of the 4th. Survey of Pennsa. The Settlers around & beyond it are chiefly Jerseymen, new Englandmen, Germans & Quakers & other people from the old Counties of Pennsa. Priestly Co’s3 purchases are fifty to seventy miles Westward of it, and it is all between the susquahannah & Delaware that is on the East Side of Susquehannah. In order to complete the Land business of Mr. Church I will give 6000 Acres of adjacent land in lieu of so much which Ball & Smith are to furnish to us, with an election of your taking for him within two years instead of those 6000 Acres whatever I may obtain under Mr. Church’s share in that contract within that time.

If this arrangement shall appear eligible, Mr. Church would have on this side Susqa. & near to one another about 35000 Acres of land for his original 10,000 Dollars & for my use of a moiety of it for about a year—say 300 Drs. or 35000 Acres for 10300 Drs. The patents might be completed at once & the transaction closed. I will add that I shall be ready to afford my future assistance in Philada. in the sales &ca. of these lands, and in selecting proper agents in the Country, which however I should readily do for his present property without any inducement from the proposed arrangement.

I have the honor to be   with gt. respt.   Sir Yr. mo. obt. Sr.

T. C.

A Hamilton Esqr.
Atty of J. B. Church, Esq

ADfS, Papers of Tench Coxe in the Coxe Family Papers at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

1For an explanation of the contents of this letter, see the introductory note to Coxe to H, February 13, 1795 (PAH description begins Harold C. Syrett, ed., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton (New York and London, 1961– ). description ends , XVIII, 262–69). See also the references cited in Coxe to H, April 13, 1793, note 3 (printed in this volume).

2In 1793 Louis Marie, vicomte de Noailles, and Antoine–Omer Talon, chevalier and marquis de Boileau, both of whom were French refugees in Philadelphia, founded the Asylum Company. This company, which was backed by Robert Morris and his associate, John Nicholson, established a settlement for French refugees on a bend in the Susquehanna River between the towns of Towanda and Wyalusing. It eventually had some fifty houses, a chapel, and some small businesses. The undertaking ended in 1802, when Napoleon permitted the refugees to return to France.

3In 1794 Joseph Priestley, the well-known scientist, educator, and writer on religious subjects, arrived in Philadelphia. See Angelica Church to H, April 1–7, 1794, note 2 (PAH description begins Harold C. Syrett, ed., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton (New York and London, 1961– ). description ends , XVI, 225). He attempted to establish a utopian community on land which his son, Joseph, and his brother-in-law, Thomas Cooper, had recommended in Pennsylvania. Morris and Nicholson were associated with the company that was formed to sell the land and provided it with 300,000 acres in Northumberland County. The project failed to attract settlers and was eventually abandoned.

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