Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Egbert Benson, 4 August 1797

From Egbert Benson1

[New York] August 4, 1797. “I take the first leisure moment to write to you on the Subject you mentioned to Me on Tuesday last, as to the Probability, whether after the Expiration of the seven Years granted by the first Law, the Legislature would prolong the Term for which the Dutch Gentlemen might hold the Lands they have purchased in our State? For four successive Sessions of the Legislature my Endeavours were unceasing, and yet nothing more could be effected than in the first Instance than a privilege for seven Years only, and that afterwards extended for thirteen Years more on Condition that the Purchasers would advance a Sum on Loan for the western Canal.2 Both these Bills passed the Assembly with great Difficulty, and without meaning to make a Merit of it with these Gentlemen, I will venture to say and which I am perswaded You will readily beleive, that much is to be attributed to my personal Influence with many of the Members.…”

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

1This letter was addressed to H in his capacity as an attorney for the Holland Land Company. For the full text of this letter and other relevant documents, 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.

For an explanation of the contents of this letter, see H to Théophile Cazenove, January 22, 1796, notes 2 and 3; Cazenove to Benson and H, May 29, July 5, 1797. See also Robert Morris to H, June 7, 1795.

2This is a reference to the Western Inland Lock Navigation Company. See Cazenove to Benson and H, May 29, 1797, note 3.

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