From Louis Le Guen1
New york 27. decembre 1800
Je Vous remet inclus La Lettre que Vous Ecrit Le Cel. Burr,2 par la quelle il doit Vous faire payer Pour Mon Compte—apres demoin Lemoy 29.—Dollars 6000.—
Voicy Ensuitte La Maniere dont il doit regler Avec Moy.3
Apres avoir fixée avec Moy, (des Onoraires Pour tous Ses Soins dans mes affaires Contre la maison Gouvr. et Kemble à Sa Satisfaction)4 il s’est reconnue Mon d’Ebiteur de $—12539.41,5 dont il me Payera de la Manière et Conditions Suivantes.
En Son Obligation à Mon Ordre, payable avec interest Le 1er. Juin 1801. a la Banke de pensilvanie à philadelphia dont L’interet des Cinq Mois ajoutés de $190.72. férra enssemble $6730.13.
Et Pour Sécuritée Laissera En Vos Mains Les titres et Morgages des deux Maisons6 Et y adjoutera En Outre, d’autres Morgages, a Votre Entière Satisfaction a Cèlle de Mrs. harison et Ogden, trustis ainsy que Vous, Pour Les interest de Madame Le Guen qui Exsigent La Plus Grande Securitée.7 Les quels titres et Morgages ne Lui Seront remis q’apres l’aquit de Sa dite Obligation de $6730.13. Bien Entendue, que Le Morgage qu’il avoit fourney Pour Securitée, au Prèst que je lui avois fair de 10,000. dollars Lui Serra remis.8
Voilla Cher Genéral La Maniere dont Nous avons—deffinitivement terminée Mr. Burr Et Moy, et a la quelle Je Vous prie davoir Le Plus Grand Egard.
Jay L’honneur D’Estre avec la Plus parfaite Conssideration Votre tres humble Et Obéissant Serviteur
L. Le Guen
Alexander Hamilton Esqre.
ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.
1. Le Guen, a native of France, arrived in the United States in 1794 and became a merchant in New York City. In addition, he owned a country home in Morrisville, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
2. Letter not found.
3. Aaron Burr was involved with Le Guen in two separate ways. In the first place, he, like H, had been an attorney for Le Guen in a series of cases involving Isaac Gouverneur and Peter Kemble. For these cases, 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 , II, 48–164. Secondly, as the letter printed above indicates, Burr was heavily in debt to Le Guen. For Burr’s indebtedness to Le Guen, see H to Ezra L’ Hommedieu, April 4, 1799; Le Guen to H, May 1, May, 1800.
On November 23, 1800, Burr wrote to Le Guen: “I shall be pretty constantly in town for four or five weeks to come and at all times happy to see you; and I have no doubt but that on your arrival we may adjust our account to mutual satisfaction” (ALS, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California).
4. In Burr’s account with Le Guen, December 18, 1800, Le Guen credited Burrs’ account with five thousand dollars for his services as attorney in the cases between Le Guen and the firm of Gouverneur and Kemble (AD, in Le Guen’s handwriting. The Huntington Library, San Marino, California). On January 10, 1801, however, Le Guen prepared the following memorandum: “Le 10—Janvier 1801. etant a Newyork. Jai reglée M/C avec Mr. Burr. Le quel à Exsigée de moy, Pour ses honnoraires dans la Suite et Terminaison de mon Procés Contre La maison Gouvr. et Kble.—$3500—ce qui Joint à Celle de $2500—fail 6000 dollars—que Je Lui ái Payée; non compris divers Sommes à Lui prestée Sans interets. Lesquels ussent montée a Plus de 500 dollars” (AD, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California).
5. In Burr’s account with Le Guen, December 18, 1800, Le Guen maintained that Burr owned him $13,212.16, but noted that Burr computed his debt as $13,188 (AD, in Le Guen’s handwriting, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California).
6. Burr’s law office was at 221 Broadway. He owned a country estate, Richmond Hill, on land now bounded by King, Varick, Charlton, and McDougal Streets.
7. This is a reference to an antenuptial contract, dated February 2, 1799, between Louis Le Guen on the one hand and his future wife, Mary Hylton, and her father, William Hylton, on the other hand. The Hyltons, originally from Virginia, in 1799 lived in Elizabeth, New Jersey. In the contract, Le Guen agreed to settle on Mary Hylton £10,000 currency of New York, vested in three trustees, or real estate of equivalent value, conveyed to the trustees. According to the contract, the trustees, who were H, Richard Harison, and Aaron Ogden, could receive the money and then “put out and employ or invest the same on Loan upon the security of Real estate or in the purchase of stock of the United States or of some public Bank or other incorporated Company” (copy, Bucks County Recorder, Doylestown, Pennsylvania). See also a letter of attorney, executed on April 25, 1822, by Louis and Mary Le Guen at the United States consulate in Paris (DS, New-York Historical Society, New York City).
Harrison was a New York City lawyer, and Ogden was a lawyer in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
The following entry appears in H’s Cash Book, 1795–1804, under the date of January 31, 1799: “Louis Le Guen Dr. to Costs & Fees for attending to the arrangement of his marriage Contract 20” (AD, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress).
8. For this loan, see H to L’Hommedieu, April 4, 1799, note 1. In August, 1800, Burr wrote to Le Guen: “I received a few days ago your letter demanding immediate payment of your mortgage. As I find it impossible to close finally our concerns in the manner stated in the amounts which you left with me, it will I think be best that you should come to this city.… I beg you to bring with you the leases formerly assigned to you and the notes which accompanied them as well as the two bonds and mortgages which were given last year, that we may finally settle the whole of our Concerns. It is with regret however that I apprize you that it will not I fear be in my power to make you any considerable payment in cash or at a short Day” (Samuel H. Wandell and Meade Minnigerode, Aaron Burr [New York, 1925], I, 139).