Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Richard Harison, 20 June 1793

From Richard Harison

Albany 20th: June 1793.


Your Letter of the 12th. Instant was delivered to me this Morning upon my Return from a View with the Commissioners appointed by the Legislature of the State to ascertain the contested Boundaries of some ancient Patents.

My Duty to my Clients, and the important Nature of their Business, render it impossible for me to depart from hence until the Hearing is concluded, which I expect will happen in the Course of a few Days. In the mean Time my Friends Messrs. Troup and Hoffman will attend to the public Business in New York on my Behalf, and will pursue every legal Measure in their Power which the Executive may direct, and the Honor and Interest of the Nation require at this important Crisis.

I have judged it prudent to inform Judge Duane who is now at Schenectady of the Expectations of Government with Respect to the Brigantine Catharine, that he may convene a District Court to try the Legality of the Capture; and I shall lose no Time in repairing to New York as soon as may be possible, that I may in Person evince my Zeal to promote the public Welfare and my Respect for the Instructions with which I have been honored. I am, Sir, Your most obedt Servt.

Rich: Harison

RC (DNA: RG 59, MLR); at foot of text: “Honble. Thos. Jefferson Esqr.”; endorsed by TJ and George Taylor, Jr., as received 27 June 1793, but recorded in SJL as received the following day.

For the problem of the contested boundaries, see Syrett, Hamilton description begins Harold C. Syrett and others, eds., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, New York, 1961–87, 27 vols. description ends , xv, 12. On 17 June 1793 Robert Troup, a New York attorney, wrote a missing letter to TJ on behalf of District Attorney Harison “giving an accot. of what had been done with the privateer Liberty & the prize Ship Catharine.” According to SJL, TJ received the letter on 20 June 1793; he submitted it to the President on the same day (Washington, Journal description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed., The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797, Charlottesville, 1981 description ends , 184). See also note to Memorial from George Hammond, 11 June 1793.

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