Alexander Hamilton Papers
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To Alexander Hamilton from John Dunn, 28 January 1797

From John Dunn1

Dublin [Ireland] January 28, 1797. “I take the liberty of enclosing to you an account current furnished to me by Mr. John Barclay of Philadelphia relative to a fund in his hands by me anxiously desired to be entrusted to your care—A late account of some unfortunate circumstances occurring in Mr. Barclay’s affairs makes me anxious in the extreme that the Property in his hands should be effectually secured—Mr. Barclay has written to Mr. Wilson the American Consul here who recommended Mr. Barclay to me that I shall be secured to the last shilling.2 When I first took the Liberty of addressing you3 I addressed you as a Gentleman whose high Honor & distinguished Character had taught me to look up to him with confidence as the Depository of a Trust—You then Sir filled a public Station—That situation being now changed and you having returned to the Profession of the Law (to which I have the honor to belong) I do now with more earnestness and more Confidence request and entreat that you will in your professional Character use your Endeavours to have the Property in Mr. Barclays hands duly secured. Indeed Sir it is a consolation to me of peculiar Importance at this moment that I have professional assistance of such a distinguished kind to rely upon and which I do not entertain a Doubt you will speedily and effectually employ for my Protection and Safety.…”4

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1For an explanation of the contents of this letter, see Dunn to H, March 25, 1794.

2In a letter which Dunn sent to Barclay on January 28, 1797, and which he enclosed to H, he wrote: “In a letter which you lately wrote to Mr. Joseph Wilson you state a change in your Situation for which I am truly concerned, but inform Mr. Wilson that I shall be secured to the last shilling. In order that your just Intentions may be carried into effect in the most beneficial manner for me I have given authority to Mr. Hamilton to act in the business for me whose professional Skill & high Character must render it an easy matter to bring the business to a speedy and honorable conclusion” (ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress).

4An entry in H’s Cash Book, 1795–1804, under the date of August 26, 1797, reads: “Cash Dr. to Costs & Fees … received by Dun v Barkly 30” (AD, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress). A similar entry was made in H’s Law Register, 1795–1804 (D, partially in H’s handwriting, New York Law Institute, New York City).

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