Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Henry Knox, 28 December 1788

From Henry Knox

New York 28 Decr 1788

My dear Sir

As you are going to Albany I beg your assistance in arranging the following business for me.

I am a purchaser with you and others in certain Lands on the St Laurence, the patents for which have been taken out of the Land office in the name of Alexr Macomb Esqr.1

Independent of the purchase of the state, there were certain locations made by Genl Schuyler2 and others, which were to be paid for by the proprietors agreably to their several proportions. I have not paid my quota 1/14th of said locations not knowing precisely to whom it was due. Will you be so good as to ascertain of General Schuyler to whom I am to pay and request the person entitled to receive the sum, would draw on me for the amount and give me a proper acquittance.

My Dear Sir Your Most obedient humble Servant

H Knox

Colonel Hamilton

ADfS, Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston.

1Macomb, a native of Ireland, was a trader in the American West during the pre-Revolutionary years. During the Revolution he prospered by supplying the Indian Department of the British army. After the war he settled in New York. See also the entry entitled "Land Account" in H’s "Cash Book," March 1, 1782-1791 (PAH, III, 52).

At public sales in 1787 Macomb purchased extensive tracts along the St. Lawrence River. On the basis of this letter and other evidence (see Robert A. East, Business Enterprise in the American Revolutionary Era [New York, 1938] 317), it is clear that in many of his purchases Macomb acted as the agent for others. For a listing of Macomb’s numerous land purchases in 1787 and 1788, see Calendar of N.Y. Colonial Manuscripts Indorsed Land Papers; in the Office of the Secretary of State of New York, 1643–1803 (Albany, 1864).

2Philip Schuyler.

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