From William Rawle
ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.
1. Letter not found.
2. Duane had been indicted in 1800 under the Sedition Act for libel of the United States Senate. H needed the information concerning Duane’s indictment and trial for his defense of Harry Croswell, Federalist editor of The [Hudson, New York] Balance, and Columbian Repository, who in January, 1803, had been indicted for seditious libel by the Grand Jury in Columbia County, New York. For H’s role in People v Croswell, see Goebel, Law Practice description begins Julius Goebel, Jr., and Joseph H. Smith, eds., The Law Practice of Alexander Hamilton: Documents and Commentary (New York and London, 1964– ). description ends , I, 775–848.
Rawle did not send this letter to H until July 29, 1803, when he wrote at the bottom of the letter printed above: “The above was written sometime ago and no safe private conveyance occurring to my knowledge—& your letter not specifying within what particular time, it was necessary to send them, I kept the papers by me.…”