Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Otho H. Williams, 27 February 1794

From Otho H. Williams

Baltimore, February 27, 1794. “Mr. Hollingsworth1 Attorney for this district intimated to me yesterday, that the suits commenced on the Bonds of John Vochez, acting Partner of the House of Zacharie Coopman & Co.;2 and his securities were about to end in Judgment the ensuing Court; That from the circumstances of the House and some of the Securities … He is apprehensive that to precipitate the Judgment and Execution will be attended with such distress to the parties as to endanger the Security of part of the Money at least.… I submit the subject to your consider⟨ation⟩.”

Copy, RG 53, “Old Correspondence,” Baltimore Collector, National Archives.

1Zebulon Hollingsworth.

2The partners in this firm were Stephen Zacharie and Francis Coopman (see Williams to H, January 23, 1792). The firm was engaged in trade with the West Indies, but its activities had been hampered by the revolution in Santo Domingo, by privateering, by confiscation, and most recently by British seizure of some of the West Indian islands. In this case, however, the firm’s problem seems to have concerned extensive contracts made with the French government (see H to Jean Antoine Joseph Fauchet, May 5, 1794). The docket book for the District Court of Maryland for this period lists a number of cases concerning John Baptist Vochez’s bonds. Papers for only a few of these cases are now preserved in the District Court archives, but the amounts of the bonds, which ranged from three hundred to nine thousand dollars, and the large number of cases indicate extensive payments in arrears.

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