Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Murray, Sansom, and Company, [April 1786]

From Murray, Sansom, and Company1

[New York, April, 1786]

Murray, Sansom & Co. present their Compliments to Mr. Hamilton and inform him that there is a Vessel that will sail on Sunday next for London, they would be obliged to him if he would have the Commission made out to go by that conveyance. At foot are the names they wish to have nominated as Commissioners.

[Mark Lane London]2

No 1 [Henry] Adams—Attorney at Law
  3 Robert Barclay
  4 Joseph Woods
  5 Effingham Lawrence [of the City of London Merchants]
  2 Thomas Powell
  6 John Freeman3

L, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1This letter concerns the case of Robert Murray, John Murray, and Philip Sansom v James Arden in the New York Supreme Court. In 1779 Arden, a New York merchant, requested that the New York firm of Murray, Sansom, and Company purchase goods for him in London and ship them to New York. The goods were sent on the ship Martha, which was first taken by an American privateer and retaken by a British vessel which carried it to Halifax. There the goods were condemned on the ground that the ship was cleared for Halifax, not New York. Murray, Sansom, and Company employed H as counsel and sued Arden for the cost of the seized goods. Arden contended that Murray, Sansom, and Company were at fault for not having the Martha cleared for New York (“State of the Case between Murray Sansom & Co & James Arden” [D, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress]; Narrative, New York Supreme Court, October term, 1784 [D, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress]). See also Issue Roll, 1785 (Parchment 130-L-6, Hall of Records, New York City); Affidavit of John Murray, April 26, 1786 (BM-2564-M, Chancery Papers, Hall of Records, New York City). In 1786 H, on behalf of his clients, obtained permission from the Court of Chancery for the issuance of a commission to London to examine witnesses whose testimony was material to the plaintiff’s case (MS Minutes of the New York Court of Chancery, 1785–1789, under date of April 26, 1786 [Hall of Records, New York City]).

The letter printed above indicates the men in London whom Murray, Sansom, and Company wished to have named commissioners.

In July, 1787, a jury in the New York Supreme Court sitting on circuit in New York City found a verdict for the plaintiffs of £1,383.2.3 damages and costs (Nisi Prius Roll and Postea, July, 1787 [Parchment 2-H-1, Hall of Records, New York City]).

2The material within brackets is in H’s handwriting.

3The name is crossed out on the MS.

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