Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Richard Harison, 21 June 1793

From Richard Harison

Albany 21st. June 1793.

Dear Sir,

I feel myself infinitely obliged to you for your late confidential Communication.1 The Principles you have stated are perfectly just, and your Hints will be carefully attended to. It has been very unfortunate that I should be sent from New York at so important a Period; but whilst your Officers are without Salaries they cannot possibly neglect the Business upon which they depend for their daily Bread.2 However, I have no Doubt that Troup3 will do on my Behalf every Thing that is proper. He is a true Man, and has correct Ideas upon the Subject of our national Government and Interests. If he should be at a Loss, I trust that he will consult with Mr. King4 upon whose Judgment we both have the fullest Reliance. Judge Duane5 is at Schenectady. I have informed him by Letter of the Propriety of his repairing to New York, tho’ it may interfere with his domestic Arrangements. My present Business here is to argue for Kayaderosses as in their Controversies about Boundaries with Half Moon, Clifton Park and Schenectady.6 The Hearing I hope will end in three or four Days, and I shall then immediately set off for New York. I do not at present see how the Privateer can be legally detained or proceeded against; but upon my Return I shall consider the Matter more fully, and take every Measure that I can with Propriety to promote (what I esteem) the true Interest of the Nation, your Wishes, and the Intentions of Government.

Believe me most sincerely,   Dr. Sir,   Your obliged Friend & Most obedt. Servt.

Rich. Harison

Hon. A. Hamilton Esq.

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

2Harison, as United States attorney for the District of New York, instead of a salary received as “compensation for his services such fees as shall be taxed therefore in the respective courts before which the suits or prosecutions shall be” (“An Act to establish the Judicial Courts of the United States,” 1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America (Boston, 1845). description ends 73–93 [September 24, 1789]). By “An Act for regulating Processes in the Courts of the United States, and providing Compensations for the Officers of the said Courts, and for Jurors and Witnesses” this was amended to allow the United States attorney in each district “such fees in each state respectively as are allowed in the supreme courts of the same” (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America (Boston, 1845). description ends 277 [May 8, 1792]).

3Robert Troup.

4Rufus King.

5James Duane was Federal judge for the District of New York.

6The places mentioned in this sentence were land patents in the region immediately north of Albany. On December 11, 1792, and February 14, 1793, petitions were presented to the New York legislature by the proprietors of the Half Moon patent and by the proprietors of the Shanandhoi or Clifton Park patent asking a legislative settlement of their boundaries with those of the Kayaderosseres patent. These petitions resulted in “An Act to ascertain and settle the limits and boundaries, between the Patent of Kayaderosseres and the Half-Moon Patent, and to bind the title of the respective claimants,” passed January 19, 1793, and “An Act to ascertain and settle the Limits and Boundaries, between the Patent of Kayaderosseres, the Patent commonly called the Half Moon Patent, and the Patent of Shannondhoi or Clifton Park, and to bind the Title of the respective Claimants,” passed March 11, 1793. The second of these two acts provided for the establishment of a board of commissioners to ascertain the boundaries of the patents (Laws of the State of New-York, Sixteenth Session [New York, 1793], 16–18, 53–55; Laws of the State of New-York, Eighteenth Session [New York, 1795], 36–37).

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