Alexander Hamilton Papers
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From Alexander Hamilton to Pierre Charles L’Enfant, 27 July 1801

To Pierre Charles L’Enfant

New York July 27. 1801

Dr Sir

Three days since I received your letter of the 14th.1 As there is a Court sitting,2 I defer a particular answer to it, and drop you a line to say, that I shall certainly do every thing in my power to fulfil your wish.3

With regard, I am, Sir   Yr. Obed ser

A Hamilton

Major L’Enfant

ALS, Digges-L’Enfant-Morgan Collection, Library of Congress.

1Letter not found.

2The New York Supreme Court met in New York City from July 21, 1801, to August 1, 1801.

3H is referring to L’Enfant’s attempts in 1801 to obtain compensation from New York City for work he had done in 1789 to convert the old Jacobean City Hall on Wall Street into Federal Hall, which served as the temporary capitol of the new Federal Government. After L’Enfant had completed his work, the Common Council of the City of New York offered him ten acres of land near the present-day Franklin Street as payment for his services. L’Enfant refused to accept the land on the ground that it was inadequate compensation (Minutes of the Common Council description begins Minutes of the Common Council of the City of New York, 1784–1831 (New York, 1917). description ends , I, 542, 544, 545). On January 19, 1801, Thomas Morris wrote to the Common Council on L’Enfant’s behalf requesting compensation for the work done in 1789. The Council requested L’Enfant to make his own application, and on January 26 he submitted a memorial. The Council agreed to grant L’Enfant seven hundred and fifty dollars “in full discharge of all further Claims against this Board for or on Account of his said Services,” but L’Enfant notified the Common Council on February 16, 1801, that he could not accept such a small amount. He petitioned it to “make him a greater Allowance,” which the Council declined to do (Minutes of the Common Council description begins Minutes of the Common Council of the City of New York, 1784–1831 (New York, 1917). description ends , II, 701, 703–04, 709).

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