Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Catharine Greene, 26 June 1792

From Catharine Greene1

New York 26 June 1792.

My Dear Sir

The bearer Mr Miller2 will wait on you to learn the particulars of the transaction with Mr Royal Flint3 respecting the Certificate I obtained from Baron Glausbeck.4 I beg you will consider him as My particular friend and any information you can give on this or any other Subject relating to the affairs of My unfortunate family, who, as he will inform You (are all on float again) will greatly oblige your sincerly affectionate,

Cathe Greene

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1H had been an effective advocate for payment of the claim of Major General Nathanael Greene’s widow, Catharine, against the United States. See “Report on the Petition of Catharine Greene,” December 26, 1791. “An Act to indemnify the Estate of the late Major General Nathaniel Green, for a certain bond entered into by him during the late war” became law on April 27, 1792 (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America (Boston, 1845). description ends 258).

2Phineas Miller was the tutor of the children of Nathanael and Catharine Greene. In 1796 Miller became Catharine Greene’s second husband.

3Royal Flint, a New York City businessman, had been engaged in the Army supply business during the American Revolution and was later appointed a commissioner under the Continental Congress to settle accounts in the state of Massachusetts.

4By a resolution of the Continental Congress of February 3, 1784 (JCC description begins Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (Washington, 1904–1937). description ends , XXVI, 65), the services of foreign officers during the American Revolution were recognized as a debt of the United States. By an act of September 29, 1789, entitled “An Act to allow the Baron de Glaubeck the pay of a Captain in the Army of the United States” (6 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America [Private Statutes] (Boston, 1856). description ends 1), Glaubeck had been added to the list of foreign officers.

Because of debts owed to General Greene by Glaubeck, Flint and William Duer proposed to purchase from Glaubeck rights to the payments which the Government was to make to Glaubeck and to pay the difference between the purchase price and the Government payments to the general’s widow. On this understanding, sometime before July 28, 1790, a certificate for the baron’s claim was issued by the Treasury Department to Flint as attorney for Catharine Greene. Duer and Flint actually purchased rights to the baron’s pay, not from Glaubeck, but from a third party who had obtained the rights for an inconsiderable sum and was willing to part with them for very little. Duer and Flint apparently retained the difference between the purchase price and the nominal value which they charged against the payments to be made to Catharine Greene. H had evidently helped to prepare Flint’s power of attorney in the belief that the whole transaction had been undertaken for the benefit of Greene’s widow. In May, 1793, H’s part in this transaction formed the basis of a charge made by Andrew Fraunces, a former Treasury Department clerk, that H had speculated in Government debts while Secretary of the Treasury (Fraunces to H, May 16, 1793).

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