Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to John Chaloner, [1 May 1783]

To John Chaloner1

[Philadelphia, May 1, 1783]

Col Hamilton’s compliments to Mr. Chaloner, incloses him a note which he promised Col Wadsworth to leave with Mr Chaloner. The date is blank which Mr Chaloner will be so good as to fill up from the time Col Wadsworth left this city.

AL, Mr. James H. Welch, Canton, Ohio.

1Chaloner, a Philadelphia merchant, was assistant commissary of purchases for the Continental Army during the American Revolution. After the war, in association with Charles White, his business was conducted under the firm name of Chaloner and White.

Chaloner, while contracting for the Philadelphia office of the commissary department, had come to the attention of Jeremiah Wadsworth, commissary general of purchases and business partner of John B. Church. Church, upon his arrival from England in the United States during the American Revolution, had assumed the name of John Carter. From the numerous contracts he made for supplying the American army and particularly from the contract which he and Wadsworth secured for supplying the French forces in America, Church acquired a fortune. While in the United States, he married Angelica Schuyler, older sister of Elizabeth Hamilton. When the Churches returned to England in the summer of 1783 (H to John Jay, July 25, 1783 [PAH description begins Harold C. Syrett, ed., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton (New York and London, 1961– ). description ends , III, 416–17]), Church left the management of his interests in America to H.

All the business affairs of Wadsworth and Carter in Philadelphia were conducted through Chaloner, and when in 1784 the business partners were in Europe, Chaloner received the largest share of the thousands of pounds of merchandise they shipped from Europe to America. The partnership of Wadsworth and Carter was dissolved at the end of July, 1785, but, principally because Chaloner had mismanaged their affairs, several years were required for Chaloner to settle his accounts with the partners.

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