Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Benjamin Walker, 6 July 1797

From Benjamin Walker1

Fort Schuyler [New York] July 6, 1797. “I will thank to advise what is best to be done to bring the business with Colo Smith2 to a conclusion—it was referred to Judge Lewis3 and John Murray4 as Arbitrators. The former kept the papers a long time and then, Mr Murray informed me, he declined Acting. The arbitration bonds expired and Mr James Smith got a new one executed by his brother extending the time to October. Still Mr Lewis was inserted as the Arbitrator tho’ I informed Mr Smith what Mr Murray had told me of his having declined. As Colo Smith was then gone no one knew where the matter rested. Now, they say Mr Lewis will be in Town the 20th of this month. I will attend to it—or if not that they will appoint Mr Lawrance5 or Mr Harrison.6 I have no objection to any man of character but such as are Creditors or connected in the affairs of Colo Smith these must certainly be objected to the Arbitrators must be perfectly indifferent as to the event. Mr Lawrence I am pretty sure is a Creditor. I dont know if Mr Harrison is or not but I think he declined once before from their whole proceeding. Refusing to appoint such Men as will attend to it &c.…”

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1This is a reference to Walker’s efforts to collect money which William S. Smith owed to William Pulteney and William Hornby. For this debt and H’s part in the attempts to collect it, see Walker to H, September 15, 1793, October 4, 1796 (two letters); the introductory note to Robert Morris to H, April 27, 1796, note 6; H to Walker, October 15, 1796.

2William S. Smith.

3Morgan Lewis was a justice of the New York Supreme Court.

4John Murray was a New York City merchant.

5John Laurance.

6Richard Harison was United States attorney for the District of New York.

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