Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Peter W. Yates, [May 1802]

From Peter W. Yates1

[Albany, May, 1802.] “The Argument on the inclosed case2 is to be the next term in new York. I cannot attend. I request you to pay particular attention to this Case & prepare for the argument. The deft. claims under my Br in Law Anthony Bries3 the eldest son and heir of old Hendrick Bries their father.…”

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1Yates, an Albany lawyer, was a regent of the University of the State of New York in 1784 and a member of the New York Assembly in 1784 and 1785. He was a member of the Continental Congress from 1785 to 1787, after which he resumed the practice of law.

2AD, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

This document is an argument for a motion for a new trial prepared by defendant’s counsel in James Jackson ex dem. Gerrit T. Van Den Bergh v Frederick Breese et al. in the New York Supreme Court. The first sentence of this “case” reads: “This is an Action of Ejectment for Lands in the patent of Hosick which was tried before his Honor the Chief Justice at the Rensselaer Circuit in May 1802.” No record of this case has been found in the minutes of the New York Supreme Court for July, 1802, but for similar or related cases concerning the partition of the Hoosick patent, see George Caines, Cases Argued and Determined in the Court for the Trial of Impeachments and Correction of Errors, in the State of New-York (New York, 1810), II, 326–36; Caines, New-York Term Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of That State (New York, 1805), II, 169–76.

3Bries (Brees or Breese) was a resident and officeholder in Albany. Born in 1727, he married Catharyntie Yates, the older sister of Peter Yates, shortly before 1760.

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