Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Robert Morris, 27 March 1797

From Robert Morris

Alexander Hamilton Esqr
New York

Philada. March 27th. 1797

Dear Sir

I wrote a few lines from Mr Nicholsons house on Saturday whilst waiting to see Mr Mather; he did not come there untill I was obliged to come away, but Mr Nicholson informs me he came afterwards and that they are likely to effect an Arrangement for the Bill of Exchange and that Mr Mather has written to stay any proceedings in New York untill they hear again from him.1 This being a debt of Mr Nicholsons I am desirous that he should settle it, but should he fail I must ultimately do it, and if in the end it falls to my lot, I now request that you will use your discretion, and make the best Arrangement you can for me. I pledge my honor that there is no other encumbrance on the 100000 Acres of Genesee land Mortgaged to Mr Church than that Mortgage and I am extreemly averse to suffering any other to go on it.2 I want Mr Church to buy it. He may do that now, so as to double his Money on me, respecting this I wrote you some time ago3 to which you did not reply.

I am Dr Sir   Yours &c.


LC, Robert Morris Papers, Library of Congress.

1In this and the following sentence Morris is discussing a suit which Charles Bridgen threatened to bring against him on behalf of William Talbot and William Allum. For this suit and for Ralph Mather’s and John Nicholson’s connection with it, see Morris to H, December 31, 1796, January 23, February 9, 1797, note 4, February 27, March 3, 8, 9, 1797.

2This sentence concerns a debt which Morris owed to John B. Church. He had secured this debt with a mortgage on one hundred thousand acres in the Genesee country and was now endeavoring to have Church purchase these acres. See the introductory note to Morris to H, June 7, 1795. See also Morris to H, July 20, November 16, December 18, 1795, January 15, March 6, 12, 14, 30, April 27, May 3, 10, 17, 18, 31, 1796, March 3, 1797; William Lewis to H, May 4, 1796; H to Charles Williamson, May 17–30, 1796.

This is the last mention in Morris’s extant correspondence with H of the money he owed to Talbot and Allum. Meanwhile, they had instituted, with Bridgen as their attorney, legal proceedings to obtain payment from Morris. In June, 1797, H, appearing before the court as Morris’s attorney, agreed that Morris owed Talbot and Allum $5,413.44. Morris was given three years to pay this money. For this case and the events leading up to it, 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. In 1801 in a summary statement concerning his debts and assets, Morris wrote: “The oldest Judgment against me in the State of New York was one to William Talbot and William Allum, under which, (as is said,) all my Rights and Claims in the Genesee Country have been executed and sold by the Sheriff” (Morris, In the Account of Property description begins Robert Morris, In the Account of Property (King & Baird, Printers, No. 9 Sansom Street [Philadelphia], n.d.). description ends , 4).

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