Alexander Hamilton Papers
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Bill for Alexander Hamilton’s Coffin, [13 July 1804]

Bill for Alexander Hamilton’s Coffin

[New York, July 13, 1804]

The Committee Appointed by the Corporation1 to Conduct the Funeral of the Late General Hamilton Dr

1804 To Fenwick Lyell2
July 13 To a Mahogany Coffin £10..0..0
$253

D, Historical Documents Collection, on deposit at Queens College, City University of New York.

1On July 13, 1804, the Common Council of the City of New York “Resolved unanimously that the Common Council of the City of New York entertain the most unfeigned sorrow and regret for the death of their fellow citizen Alexander Hamilton, and with a view to pay all the respect due to his past life and future memory and to afford the most unequivocal testimony of the great loss which in the opinion of the Common Council not only this City, but the State of New York and the United States have sustained by the death of this great and good Man the Common Council, do, unanimously Recommend that the usual business of the day. for tomorrow be dispensed with by all classes of inhabitants.

“And, resolved, unanimously that the Ordinance prohibiting the tolling of Bells, at funerals, be on this occasion suspended, and that it be recommended to those who have the charge of the Church Bells in this City to cause them to be muffled and tolled at suitable intervals during the day of his interment

“And also resolved unanimously that the members of the Common Council will in a body attend and join in the funeral procession of the deceased at the time and place appointed.

“Likewise, resolved unanimously that a Committee of three to make such arrangements on the behalf and at the expence of the Common Council of the City of New York for performing the funeral obsequies of the deceased Alexander Hamilton as the said Committee shall judge necessary and expedient.

  “Alderman [Jacob] Morton } Were appointed a committee to carry into effect the preceding Resolutions, and the same were ordered to be published in the newspapers employed by the Board.”
  [Wynant] Van Zandt [Jr.]
  & [Jacob] De la Montagnie

(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 , III, 568–69.)

On November 29, 1804, the Common Council “Resolved that a Committee be appointed to wait on Colonel [John] Trumbull and employ him in behalf of this Board and at their expence to paint a full length likeness of the late General Hamilton …” (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 , III, 636). Trumbull’s bill in April, 1805, “for a whole length portrait … of General Hamilton” was five hundred dollars (AD, Historical Documents Collection, on deposit at Queens College, City University of New York). This full-length portrait is now in the New York City Hall.

2Lyell was a New York City cabinetmaker.

3On December 10, 1804, the Common Council ordered that Mayor DeWitt Clinton issue a warrant to pay Lyell (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 , III, 650).

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