Alexander Hamilton Papers
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To Alexander Hamilton from William Hornby, 15 September 1801

From William Hornby1

London, September 15, 1801. Requests Hamilton’s opinion “upon a Case which … is of the greatest importance to the Parties concerned.”

LS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1Hornby, who had served as governor of Bombay, was a member of the Pulteney Association, which consisted of William Johnstone Pulteney, Patrick Colquhoun, and Hornby. This association bought 1.2 million acres of land known as the Pulteney Purchase in the Genesee country of New York State from Robert Morris in 1791. See the introductory note to Morris to H, April 27, 1796.

The letter printed above concerns Hornby’s attempt to retain H as counsel in a controversy concerning the sale of land belonging to the Pulteney Association in the Genesee country which arose between Hornby and Colquhoun on the one hand and Pulteney and Charles Williamson on the other. Williamson was the American agent for the association in the Genesee. H did not serve as Hornby’s counsel because Pulteney had already retained him in this particular suit. For more information, see the discussion of the Pulteney Purchase in 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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