Alexander Hamilton Papers

New York Assembly. Remarks on an Act for the Relief of Arthur Noble, [9 February 1787]

New York Assembly. Remarks on an
Act for the Relief of Arthur Noble1

[New York, February 9, 1787]

The intention of this bill was to enable the commissioners of the land office to convey to Mr. Noble, two townships of ten miles square, at one shilling per acre, for the purpose of settling Irish emigrants.

On considering this bill by paragraphs, some conversation arose in which Gen. Malcom, Col. Hamilton, and Mr. Jones were the principal speakers.

Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Jones were both of opinion that there should be no limitation or stipulation in the bill;2 it was not within the province of the house to interfere at present, between Mr. Noble and those whom he might induce to come with him from Ireland. Mr. Noble had been naturalized, he could hold lands. The others were foreigners, were not known, and could not therefore make purchases. It might be proper hereafter to make a provision, but was not so now.

Mr. Hamilton observed that Mr. Noble was a gentleman of fortune, whose ambition was to improve a great waste tract of our country, and that he ought to have every encouragement the state could give.

The [New York] Daily Advertiser, February 12, 1787.

1“An act for the relief of Arthur Noble, and others” was introduced on February 6. It provided that the commissioners of the land office should grant to Arthur Noble “a quantity of land equal to one township of ten miles, or two townships of eight miles square, of the waste and unappropriated lands in any part of this State, on such terms and conditions, as to them shall appear most conducive to the interest thereof, on his, the said Arthur Noble’s paying into the treasury of this State, at and after the rate of one shilling per acre, in certificates made receivable by law in the treasury, on the sale of unappropriated land” (Laws of the State of New York, I description begins Laws of the State of New York Passed at the Sessions of the Legislature Held in the Years 1777, 1778, 1779, 1780, 1781, 1782, 1783 and 1784 Inclusive, being the First Seven Sessions (Albany, 1886). description ends I, 394–95).

2William Malcom had argued that the act should stipulate that those to whom land was conveyed by Noble be citizens and freeholders.

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