Alexander Hamilton Papers
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From Alexander Hamilton to Edward Livingston, 10 February [1802]

To Edward Livingston

[New York] February 10 [1802]. States that he is “of Counsel” in the case of Steinbach1 adm United States2 and asks Livingston for permission to examine the witnesses “de bene esse.”3

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1Joaquim L. Steinbach was a New York City merchant and shipowner.

2An entry in H’s Law Register, 1795–1804, reads:

} Libel Rainbow } of Counsel

(D, partially in H’s handwriting, New York Law Institute, New York City). Cadwallader Colden, a New York City lawyer, was counsel with H in two other cases, and H’s Law Register indicates that the retainer for the three cases was seventy-five dollars.

The case of The United States v The Brig Rainbow her tackle, apparel and furniture Joachim L. Steinbach of the City of New York Claimant was heard in the District Court for the Southern District of New York on December 24, 1801, and judgment was made the same day against Steinbach (RG 21, Records of District Courts of the United States, Minutes of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, 1789–1801, Vol. IV, 1800–1801, National Archives). See also 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 , IV.

3“Conditionally; provisionally; in anticipation of future need. A phrase applied to proceedings which are taken ex parte or provisionally, and are allowed to stand as well done for the present, but which may be subject to future exception or challenge, and must then stand or fall according to their intrinsic merit and regularity” (Henry Campbell Black, Black’s Law Dictionary: Definitions of the Terms and Phrases of American and English Jurisprudence, Ancient and Modern [St. Paul: West Publishing Company, 1951], 476).

At the bottom of H’s letter printed above Livingston wrote: “I have no Objection to Such examination—if you will draw the Depositions & Send them to me I will cross examine & dismiss them immediately. Yrs respectfully E. Livingston.”

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