Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Tench Coxe, 10 April 1793

From Tench Coxe1

Walnut Street [Philadelphia] Wednesday Evening
April 10th. 1793.

Sir,

Having completed the purchase of Lands lying in the State of Pennsylvania from sundry individuals, for the joint and equal account of John Barker Church2 and myself, to the amount of the Sum of Ten Thousand Dollars, as originally proposed and agreed between us, I communicate to you an account of the Purchases. They are as follows

1st. Sixteen thousand acres of Land in the counties of Northampton and Luzerne, agreeably to a contract of the twelfth day of March past, between Blackall William Ball & Francis Joseph Smith, and myself.

2ly. Eight thousand acres of Land in the Counties of Northumberland & Luzerne agreeably to Contracts of the 30th March & 1st & 4th days of April between William Stedman and myself.

3ly. Twenty three thousand acres of land in the counties of Northampton and Luzerne, agreeably to a contract of the tenth day of April Instant, between Alexander and William Alexander Patterson & Daniel Stroud, and myself.

These Lands according to the best estimate I can form, will amount to about ten thousand dollars.

You will remember that I mentioned to you, that Four thousand acres, a part of the first parcel of 16,000 acres, was under an offer to a friend well known to you, and whose name shall be communicated. I daily expect his decision. Should he not elect to take the Lands within the course of the current month, they shall remain a part of the joint purchase for Mr Church and myself. Should he elect to take them, I shall endeavor to be prepared for securing another equivalent parcel.

I have the honor to be Sir   Your most obedient Servant

Tench Coxe.

Memorandum of the lands referred to above and their presumed Costs according to the provisions of the contracts.

Dolls.
16,000 Acres bought of Ball & Smith—expected to cost 22 ½d—or 25 Cents per acre—patented 4000   
8000 Acres bought of William Stedman ditto 16⅞d or 18¾ Cents
23,000 ditto bought of Pattersons & Stroud ditto 5812.50
31,000 Acres (16⅞ or 18¾ Cents)
47,000 As. Total
Expence of Inspection 300.00
Dolls 10,112.50

One undivided moiety of the said 47,000 Acres purchased for and the property of John Barker Church Esqr. and the other the property of Tench Coxe—on account of the above Contract, there were paid to me by you five hundred dollars on the 9th day of April 1793, and five hundred dollars on the 10th day of April 1793.

Alexander Hamilton Esquire
Agent for John Barker Church Eqr. of London.

Copy, RG 21, Records of the United States Circuit Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Equity Records, Case Files, 1790–1911, National Archives.

1For an explanation of the contents of this letter, see the introductory note to Coxe to H, February 13, 1795 (PAH, XVIII, 262–69). See also the references cited in Coxe to H, April 13, 1793, note 3 (printed in PAH, XXVI).

The agreements mentioned by Coxe in this letter are in the Papers of Tench Coxe in the Coxe Family Papers at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

The “friend” mentioned in the sixth paragraph of this letter is William Vans Murray.

2During the American Revolution John Barker Church had married Angelica Schuyler, Elizabeth Hamilton’s sister. After the war Church returned to his home in England, and H handled his American business affairs.

The early transactions for the partnership which Church and Coxe formed for the purchase of Pennsylvania lands are described in a statement which Coxe made under oath on April 22, 1799. According to this statement, Coxe conferred several times during March, 1793, with H as agent and attorney in fact for Church. H first spoke of investing ten thousand pounds sterling in the purchase of Pennsylvania lands, but later the amount was reduced to ten thousand dollars. Coxe agreed that H should furnish the money between March and September, 1793. On his part Coxe would purchase the lands without an agent’s fee and would repay Church one half of the original amount with interest after an unspecified date. H advanced the full amount during 1793 (D, signed by Coxe, RG 21, Records of the United States Circuit Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Equity Records, Case Files, 1790–1911, National Archives).

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