Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from John Ferrers, 12 December 1797

From John Ferrers1

New York, December 12, 1797. “The Friendly attention with which you have at all times received any application from me, has encouraged me to assure myself, that you will not think me troublesome, in requesting from you a piece of information.… Having been inform’d that Mr. Bayard the Agent from the United States in England,2 intends to return in the Spring, I am desirous of knowing if any other Appointment will be made on the Business of British Captures in his Stead.… The purport of the application I now trouble you, with is to request you will procure for me, through the Secretary of State, the information I have mention’d, and to favour me also with your Friendly opinion, as it respects the propriety of such an application on my part, which will be received and attended to, with the utmost respect.”

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1Ferrers was a New York City merchant.

2Samuel Bayard, a former law partner with William Bradford in Philadelphia and a former clerk of the Supreme Court of the United States, had been selected by George Washington in October, 1794, to prosecute before the British Admiralty courts United States claims for losses sustained by United States citizens from captures of their ships on the high seas by British cruisers. With the organization of the mixed commission authorized by Article 7 of the Jay Treaty to settle these claims, Bayard served as United States agent for presenting them to the commission. See Rufus King to H, April 29, 1797. Bayard resigned as agent in August, 1797.

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