Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from William R. Putnam, 17 January 1803

From William R. Putnam

[Territory Northwest of the River Ohio]
Marietta January 17th 1803

Dr Sir

Your favor of December 6th has been duly receiv’d. You mention inclosing fifty dollars, the letter contained but thirty, consisting of one twenty, and one ten dollar bill; the letter and seal appeared in good order. Inclosed you’ll find the receipt for the payment of your taxes for the year 1802 and here follows a statement of my acct.

A Hamilton Esqr Dr

1802 July to ballance of a/c for 1801 $8.23
Decmr to postage of a letter 251
to cash paid for taxes 20.092
to my commission  4   
33.57 $33.57
Pr Conr. Supr Cr By cash per post Decmr 1802.  30.  
Ballance debt   3.57

This ballance will be included in the statement for 1803—when the amount of taxes is known. The prospect of sale of land in the Ohio Companys purchase is not very flattering at present—owing to two circumstances—the United States have such quantities for sale in small tracts upon credit3—And as yet the proprietors of the Company have not generally been disposed to sell at all—and many of those who are disposed to sell, choose to do it in whole shares than in parts. Most of the persons coming to settle in our country are unable to purchase a share, and were they able, they would not as the parts of a share are as disconnected as any other lands in the country. Untill it is known that the proprietors will generally sell their lands in seperate tracts, and partly upon credit, it cannot be expected settlers will apply for them. Most of the land composing your five shares4 may be said to be of a good quality—and some day will command both price & settlement. Your taxes have been augmented for the want of payment on the first of Novr last fifty per Centum which was not convenient for me to prevent—expecting daily to have receiv’d your money. I have the honor to be

Dear Sir your most obedient Hb Servt

Wm Rufus Putnam

The Honl A Hamilton Esqr.

ALS, Yale University Library.

1Letter not found.

2In the Yale University Library there is a receipt which reads:

“Rec’d of Wm Rufus Putnam

A Hamilton Esq his taxes upon his land for the year 1803 amounting to twenty dollars & nine Cents.

This 12th of January

AD 1803

Ebr. Sprout Sheriff &


3See “An Act to amend the act intituled ‘An act providing for the sale of the lands of the United States, in the territory northwest of the Ohio, and above the mouth of Kentucky river’” (2 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America, II (Boston, 1850). description ends 73–78 [May 10, 1800]).

4See H to Oliver Wolcott, Jr., October 3, 1802, note 7.

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