Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from John Chaloner, 21 January 1784

From John Chaloner

Philada. Jany. 21st: 1784

Dear Sir

I have before me yours of the 8th. & 15th Instt.1 Yesterday I waited on the President of the Bank2 with your power of Attorney.3 He thought it sufficient had Mr Carters to you accompanied it, but for want thereof they could not pay me his divident. You must therefore send me Mr Carters original Power of Attorney to you. Your draft favour of Mr Hoffman4 I will take up. A Mr P Thompson5 applied to me for some money on your Account saying you promised to write me on the subject. Must I pay him & how much?

The Bank have agreed to enlarge their shares the new subscriber to pay 500 Dollars—50 of which he gives to the Old Stock as a premium for coming into the partnership.6 This measure has occasioned some of the wealthiest Merchants to Combine & establish a new Bank. Subscriptions7 I beleive will be soon open at four hundred dollars a share. I have not a doubt from the Characters that I hear are engaged in this matter but that it will be a permanent source and profitable as the present one, & will I doubt not have the preference whilst the Old Stock is encumbered with the Clog of fifty Dollars advance. If any oppo to London pray advise our friends of this measure.

I am in haste Dear Sir    Your most Obdt Servt

John Chaloner

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress; LC, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

1Letters not found.

2The president of the Bank of North America was Thomas Willing.

3On December 18, 1783, Chaloner had written to H that in order to receive the dividend on the shares of stock owned by John Carter (John B. Church) in the Bank of North America. H had to submit a power of attorney.

4Chaloner is perhaps referring to Nicholas Hoffman, a New York merchant who was a Loyalist during the American Revolution. In 1784, H represented Hoffman in proceedings arising out of the confiscation of Hoffman’s estate.

5P. Thompson may have been Philip Thompson for whom H had signed a memorial to the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania on February 22, 1783.

6The initial shares of stock had cost $400. According to Chaloner (Chaloner to H, November 26, 1783), the new stock, while costing $500, would be valued at $450 in the distribution of dividends; the remaining $50 would be added to the value of the initial shares.

7Dissatisfied with the policies of the Bank of North America, a group of promoters announced in January, 1784, a plan to petition the legislature for a charter for a second bank to be known as the Bank of Pennsylvania. Among the subscribers to the new bank, as Chaloner indicated, were some of the socially prominent and wealthy merchants of Philadelphia. They were apparently motivated, not by antagonism to the Bank of North America, but by a desire to share in the profits which that bank had made.

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