Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Luke Codwise, 15 December 1796

From Luke Codwise1

New York, December 15, 1796. “Mr. J W Delaney2 & myself having made a settlement of our Accounts you will please discontinue the Suit commenced against him on my Account.”3

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1Codwise was a New York sea captain.

2John William Delaney was a New York merchant.

3As captain of the brig Glasgow, Codwise left New York on November 25, 1795, for a voyage to the West Indies. On July 22, 1796, when he was returning to New York by way of Port-au-Prince, a French privateer captured his vessel and took it into Leogane where the cargo was confiscated and Codwise was imprisoned. On September 28, with six other American captains, he escaped from Leogane on board the ship Union, Samuel Davis master, which took him to Rhode Island (The [New York] Minerva, & Mercantile Evening Advertiser, November 15, 16, 1796). Part of the confiscated cargo (three hundred and ninety-nine barrels of herring and some tobacco, which Codwise had acquired in the West Indies) had belonged to Delaney, and it was apparently Delaney’s refusal to make good the loss which caused Codwise to bring suit against him.

On November 4, 1796, the Minerva printed a list of “vessels belonging to New-York” which had been “captured and carried into Leogane.” In this list was the following entry: “Brig Glasgow, Z. Godwish of New-York, detained 65 days; 1 seamen dead, 2 abandoned.”

For the dispute between Codwise and Delaney, see H’s Law Register, 1795–1804 (D, partially in H’s handwriting, New York Law Institute, New York City).

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