Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to John Chaloner, [11 June 1793]

To John Chaloner1

[Philadelphia, June 11, 1793]

Mr. Hamilton presents his Compliments to Mr Chaloner requests to be informed what is the amount of the Mortgage on Holkers land in which Mr. Church is interested principal & interest & what proportion belongs to Mr. Church.2 The inquiry demands dispatch.

AL, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

1Chaloner was a Philadelphia merchant who formerly handled the business affairs of Jeremiah Wadsworth and John B. Church in that city. Church, who was the husband of Elizabeth Hamilton’s sister Angelica, was at this time living in England. H managed Church’s business interests in the United States.

2John Holker was a Philadelphia merchant and speculator, who during the American Revolution was French consul in Philadelphia and agent for supplying the French navy. See H to Thomas FitzSimons, June 20, 1792, note 2.

This document concerns a tract of twenty-one thousand acres of land in Croghan’s Patent in Otsego County, New York, which was purchased by Holker from Henry Hill in 1783. In 1783 and 1784 Holker had drawn two sets of bills of exchange on London and Paris banking houses. These bills eventually came into the possession of William Price and Company and were protested for nonpayment in September, 1784. Price entered suit against Holker in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas and in September, 1784, sold his interest in one set of bills to John B. Church. As a result of judgments against him, Holker mortgaged the twenty-one thousand acres of land in Croghan’s Patent to Price and Church on January 15, 1789. According to the terms of the agreement the mortgage would be discharged if Holker paid the sums due (Recital in indenture, January 15, 1789, between Holker and Price and Church, anonymous donor). In May, 1793, preparations were being made to sell at a sheriff’s sale the lands mortgaged by Holker (Cornelius Bogert to William Cooper, May 20, 1793, anonymous donor). On June 23, 1793, however, Robert Troup wrote to Judge William Cooper of Otsego County requesting that the sale be canceled since an agreement had been reached with Price and H, who was acting on behalf of Church, for the discharge of the mortgage (Troup to Cooper, June 23, 1793, anonymous donor). Cooper eventually contracted with Holker’s representative, Thomas FitzSimons, to purchase the land and Price’s shares of the January, 1789, mortgage and promised to pay the mortgage held by Church (Indenture, William Cooper and Samuel and Miers Fisher, February 7, 1797, anonymous donor; William Cooper in account current with Thomas FitzSimons, February 7, 1797, anonymous donor).

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