Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to William Cooper, 3 August 1791

To William Cooper1

Aug. 3, 1791

Dear Sir

Mr. Lincklaen, the bearer of this, is a Young Gentleman of Holland, nephew of Mr Cazenove, of whom you have heard.2

He is about to travel through the part of the Country in which you reside and has among other objects that of Examining what can be done with regard to the manufacture of the Maple Sugar. I have told him that you could give him more light on the subject than any other person and have assured him that you will do it with pleasure. The Connexion can bring with activity any Capital that may be necessary for the purpose.

With great regard   I remain Yr Obed Sr

A Hamilton

Judge Cooper

ALS, from a typescript supplied by an anonymous donor.

1Cooper was a judge and an extensive landowner in Otsego County, New York. Between 1776 and 1786 Cooper, in partnership with Andrew Craig, acquired the greater part of the Otsego Patent, a vast tract of land in northern New York which had originally been granted to George Croghan. In the late seventeen-eighties Cooper founded the village of Cooperstown and undertook the settlement and development of his tract.

2Jan Lincklaen was a representative of a group of Dutch firms which later became part of the Holland Land Company. In 1790 and early 1791 these firms joined the company of Van Beeftingh and Boon of Rotterdam in a plan to invest in the production of maple sugar in the United States. Théophile Cazenove also represented these firms in the United States. Lincklaen and Gerrit Boon were appointed to purchase suitable lands and begin business operations. The two men began their journey through the backcountry in August, 1791. For an account of their travels, see Paul Demund Evans, The Holland Land Company (Buffalo, 1924), 14–18.

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