Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Abraham Van Vechten, 6 June 1796

From Abraham Van Vechten1

[Albany] June 6, 1796. “The Cause of Guernsey2 will not be tried until October Term.… It is to him a Cause of the greatest importance. His all is at Stake, and he is both able & willing to pay liberally for the Services of his Council.”

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1Van Vechten was an Albany lawyer and Federalist politician. In 1796 Governor John Jay appointed him attorney for the Fifth District of New York.

2This is a reference to James Jackson ex dem. William H. Ludlow and Mary, his wife v Nathan Guernsey, a case in the New York Supreme Court concerning the title to lands in Saratoga County, New York. The hearing on the case was postponed from the August to the October, 1796, term. On October 20, 1796, the jury found for the defendant (MS Minutes of the New York Supreme Court, January 10–November 5, 1796 [Hall of Records, New York City]). The following entry appears in H’s Cash Book, 1795–1804, for October 15, 1796: “this sum received of Nathan Garnsey for trying his cause 200—” (AD, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress). See also H’s Cash Book, 1795–1804, under the date of October 20, 1798. The plaintiff appealed the decision, and on October 27, 1802, the jury again decided in favor of Guernsey (MS Minutes of the New York Supreme Court, October 19–30, 1802 [Court of Appeals, Albany]).

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