Alexander Hamilton Papers
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From Alexander Hamilton to Benjamin Walker, William Inman, and William Cooper, 9 September 1798

To Benjamin Walker, William Inman,
and William Cooper1

New York, September 9, 1798. Requests “Mr. Inman and Mr. Cooper to agree upon another gentleman who jointly with me as arbitrators may pronounce upon” the account between Inman and Robert Morris.

ALS, anonymous donor.

1Inman was an agent of Patrick Colquhoun, the English speculator who negotiated the Pulteney Associates’ purchase of New York lands from Robert Morris. Cooper, who founded Cooperstown in Otsego County, New York, was a land speculator and a prominent Federalist politician.

Inman, Cooper, and Thomas H. Brantingham, an alien enabled to hold lands in New York (“An Act to enable certain person therein named, to purchase and hold real estate within this State” [New York Laws, 15th Sess., Ch. LIV (April 9, 1792)]), were involved in a series of disputes concerning their conflicting claims to seventy-four thousand acres of land along the Black River in northern New York.

In the letter printed above, H is serving in his capacity as arbitrator between Walker, to whom Inman had assigned his claim, and Cooper, the assignee of Robert Morris. On February 3, 1798, the two speculators agreed to submit their claims to H and to accept as binding his division of the tract in dispute between them. H’s decision, dated February 16, 1799, awarded 37,793½ acres to Walker and 36,606½ acres to Cooper (DS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress).

For a discussion of H’s role in the Inman-Brantingham-Cooper suits and the texts of relevant documents, see the 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 , forthcoming volumes.

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