Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to Moses Brown, 2 April 1795

To Moses Brown

Albany, April 2, 1795. “Particular circumstances have interfered until this time with my acknog the receipt & replying to your letter of the 9th March last.1 After full reflection I am of opinion that I cannot with propriety be concerned on your behalf in the Case2 you mention. This arises from the Situation in which I have been with regard to the subject of it as a Public officer and from my communications & proceedings in that capacity with Mr. Bingham3—your application however will preclude me from being concerned against you….”

Copy, Columbia University Libraries.

1Letter not found.

2This is a reference to the reopening of a suit brought against William Bingham in 1779 by the owners of an American ship, the Pilgrim. For the history of this case, see Margaret L. Brown, “William Bingham, Agent of the Continental Congress in Martinique,” The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, LXI (January, 1937), 83–87, and Robert C. Alberts, The Golden Voyage: The Life and Times of William Bingham, 1752–1804 (Boston, 1969), 365–67.

3Bingham, a prominent Philadelphia merchant and banker, served as agent of the Continental Congress at Martinique and as consul at St. Pierre in the West Indies from 1776 to 1780. From 1795 to 1801 he was a United States Senator.

For H’s “communications & proceedings” concerning Bingham and the Pilgrim, see Bingham to H, February 26, 1793; H to George Washington, March 20, 1793; H’s draft of Washington to Edmund Randolph, March 22, 1793.

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