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Hamilton Asks His College Roommate and Two Other Good Friends to Pay Their Share of Surveying Expenses for a Speculative Joint New York State Land Investment
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In 1795, Hamilton, in partnership with John Laurance, Robert Troup, and Nicholas Fish, purchased 21,800 acres in Herkimer County, New York, from Arthur Noble. Hamilton and Fish paid £300 annual installments on the bond to Arthur Noble in July of each year from 1796 to 1805. Hamilton still owned his quarter interest, worth about $9,000, in the area called Noblesborough, at the time of his death.

ALEXANDER HAMILTON. Autograph Endorsement Signed, below Arthur Breese, Autograph Letter Signed, to Alexander Hamilton, September 13, [1801?], 2 pp.

Inventory #24642       Price: $13,500

Transcript

D Sir.

            Your favor of the 1st Inst. I had the honor of reseiving by Fridays Mail. I should have had the survey completed, had I not relied upon Mr Brodheads executing it, he being much engaged I have at length employed a substitute who is now engaged in the Job. The whole expense will be about $500. I have been obliged to advance one hundred & upwards, in Provisions & have taken the liberty of drawing upon you in favor of Puydam & Wykoff Merchs N. York, for $200.

            The survey will be completed well & expeditiously. Two good surveyors being employed.

                                                                        I am with much Respect

                                                                        Yr most obed. Sert

                                                                        Arthur Breese

                                                                        Whitestown Sep. 13th 1801

[Endorsement, in Hamilton’s hand:]

As I expect momently to be called upon for the amount of the above mentioned Bill, I request the following Gentlemen to pay their respective proportions to the bearer

                                                                        A Hamilton

            John Laurance             Dollars 50

            Robert Troupe                         do

            Nicholas Fish                          do

[Per Sotheby’s]: In a joint venture with these three in 1795, Hamilton purchased a quarter share (5450 acres for $9,000) of land from Arthur Noble in Herkimer County, New York, known as Nobleborough (see Papers, ed. Syrett, 18:503­507, n. 11­13).


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