Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to Théophile Cazenove, [12 October 1796]

To Théophile Cazenove1

[New York, October 12, 1796.] “I have received two letters of the 6th & 10th of October from Judge James Wilson2 respecting certain tracts of land … to which I reply That some of the conditions in the Contracts between Mr. Wilson & the Holland Company not being yet fulfilled they are not at present obliged nor prepared to make the elections which those contracts reserve to them.…3 I cannot advise the Trustees for the Holland Company to execute, nor will they I am persuaded excuted the deed.…”4

AL, Gemeentearchief Amsterdam, Holland Land Company. These documents were transferred in 1964 from the Nederlandsch Economisch-Historisch Archief, Amsterdam.

1H wrote this letter in his capacity as attorney for the Holland Land Company. Cazenove was the agent in the United States for the company. For background to this letter, see Cazenove to H, January 22, 1796, note 1. For other documents and letters concerning H’s relationship with the Holland Land Company, see Goebel, Law Practice description begins Julius Goebel, Jr., ed., The Law Practice of Alexander Hamilton: Documents and Commentary (New York and London, 1964– ). description ends , forthcoming volumes.

2Letters not found.

3On December 25, 1792, James Wilson contracted to sell to the Holland Land Company either five hundred thousand acres at two and one-half shillings Pennsylvania currency per acre or seven hundred thousand acres at three shillings per acre in the Six Districts of Pennsylvania east of the Allegheny River. The Dutch chose the second option. Wilson agreed to pay the costs of warranting, surveying, and patenting the land. Wilson, however, was unable to fulfill the contract, and the Holland Land Company was forced to pay $8,000 in excess of the purchase price to secure title to the seven hundred thousand acres. In addition, on August 21, 1793, Wilson contracted with the same associates to secure patents for 499,660 acres of land west of the Allegheny River at three shillings four pence Pennsylvania currency per acre. At the time of the contract Wilson received $191,660 from the Holland Land Company. As Wilson was able to provide only 431,240 acres, he remained in debt to the company for $47,162. On February 12, 1794, Cazenove purchased from Wilson an additional two hundred thousand acres in the Six Districts at one-third of a dollar per acre. For information on Wilson’s transactions with the Holland Land Company, see Evans, Holland Land Company description begins Paul Demund Evans, The Holland Land Company (Buffalo, 1924). description ends , 31–33, 88–89.

4Cazenove endorsed this Letter: “Substance de la lettre ecrite a M Wilson le 13 8bre.”

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