Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Robert Morris, 23 November 1797

From Robert Morris1

Hills [near Philadelphia] Novr. 23d. 1797

Dear Sir

I have this minute received your favour of the 20th inst.2 and sit down immediately to acknowledge my fear that the mistake respecting Doctr Cragies Bond is with me, I am seperated from the Bulk of my Papers and when I wrote you respecting it3 I had only his letter agreeing for the purchase of the Land and terms of payment, not hearing from you I sent to Town a few days ago for the Bond intending to Send it to you, but it could not be found amongst my Papers and then it occurred for the first time, that Colo. Ogden must have it, as he made the Sale of that Land to Greenleaf Watson & Cragie, and I have Greenleafs Bond for their half, which I have just put in Suit against him, for I had at his request in the days of my Confidence in him released Mr Watson and taken him alone of which I now repent as I do of every transaction between him & me. I beg your pardon for having given you this trouble, and I will immediately turn my attention to another source of reimbursement for you. My promise to you on this point is sacred and shall be fullfilled, you will speedily hear again from me in regard to it. I hope Mr Church has too much Spirit and too high a Sense of honor to entertain a desire of possessing himself of my property at less than its Value, and at its Value I am willing to Sell it to him.4 I trust to your assurance of serving me in this business and remain as ever Dr Sir

Your Sincere Friend & Servant

Robt Morris

Alexr Hamilton Esqr
New York

ALS, Montague Collection, MS Division, New York Public Library; LC, Robert Morris Papers, Library of Congress.

1This letter, except for the last two sentences, concerns Morris’s efforts to pay the balance of a debt which he owed to H. For an account of this debt and Morris’s plans to pay it, see the introductory note to H to Morris, March 18, 1795. See also Morris to H, March 31, June 2, 23, 30, July 18, 20, 1795; June 17, 27–30, November 19, December 8, 1796; June 2, 10, September 9, October 2, 27, 1797.

For the individuals and specific transactions mentioned in this letter, see the introductory note to Morris to H, June 7, 1795, and Morris to H, October 27, 1797. See also Morris to Andrew Craigie, October 19, 1797 (LC, Robert Morris Papers, Library of Congress).

2Letter not found.

4This sentence refers to a debt which Morris owed to John B. Church, Morris’s efforts to pay this debt, and Church’s proceedings in Chancery to secure the payment of the interest on this debt. For information on these matters, 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, 27, May 20, 23, June 2, 10, July 2, November 1, 23, 1797; William Lewis to H, May 4, 1796; H to Charles Williamson, May 17–30, 1796.

On November 23, 1797, Morris wrote to Richard Harison, his attorney in the suit brought by Church, as follows: “… I hope Mr. Church is not seeking to obtain my property for less than its value. I have that confidence in your exertions which makes me to look to you for protection in this business; in the meantime I have removed the negotiation I mentioned to you but my own situation renders such things more dilatory than otherwise they would be” (LC, Robert Morris Papers, Library of Congress).

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