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Hamilton Serves as Surety for Loan to Fellow Attorney and Second in His Duel with Burr
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This compound legal document features the signatures of Alexander Hamilton, Elizabeth Hamilton, two of their sons, and the executors of his will. In June 1802, Alexander Hamilton became one of two sureties for a bond that Nathaniel Pendleton gave to John E. LeConte to ensure the repayment of $6,000 that LeConte loaned to Pendleton. To secure their support as sureties, Pendleton conveyed 4,000 acres of land in Ohio and Clinton County, New York, to Hamilton and the other surety. Pendleton made regular payments of interest and principal to LeConte and completed the repayment by June 1806. In March 1807, Hamilton’s executors (including Pendleton) reconveyed the land to Pendleton, and Elizabeth Hamilton relinquished her dower rights. Her sons James A. Hamilton and John C. Hamilton signed the relinquishment as witnesses.

ALEXANDER HAMILTON. Manuscript Document Signed, Bond, Receipts, Deed, Release of Deed, Widow’s Relinquishment, June 5, 1802–March 24, 1807. 6 pp., 8 x 13 in.

Inventory #27210       Price: $18,000

[Bond: Nathaniel Pendleton, Alexander Hamilton and John Bard, Manuscript Document Signed, June 5, 1802, 2 pp., witnessed by Thomas L. Ogden and William LeConte; with six Autograph Endorsements Signed, June 6, 1803–June 7, 1806, Receipts for payments, each signed by John LeConte or William LeConte for John Eatton LeConte; last acknowledges cancellation of bond]

we Nathaniel Pendleton of the City of New York Counsellor at Law Alexander Hamilton of the same place Counsellor at Law and John Bard of the same place Merchant are jointly and severally and every two of us held and firmly bound unto John Eatton le Conte of the same place Gentleman in the sum of Twelve Thousand Dollars lawful money of the State of New York to be paid to the said John Eatton le Conte....

The Condition of this Obligation is such that if the above-bounden Nathaniel Pendleton Alexander Hamilton and John Bard or either of them their or either of their heirs executors or administrators do and shall well and truly pay or cause to be paid unto the said John Eatton le Conte...the full sum of Six Thousand Dollars lawful money of the State of New York on or before the Fifth day of June which shall be in the year One thousand eight hundred and five together with lawful annual interest...then this obligation shall be void or otherwise shall remain in full force and virtue.

[Deed: Nathaniel Pendleton, Manuscript Document Signed, April 30, 1803, 2 pp., witnessed by William Duer and William Ogden]

Nathaniel Pendleton and Susan his wife...Do grant, bargain and sell unto the said Alexander Hamilton and John Bard and their heirs and assigns, All those two several tracts or parcels of land situate in the northwest territory of the United States, now the State of Ohio, granted unto the said Nathaniel Pendleton by George Washington, President of the United States, one of which tracts lies on the waters of Paint creek, and the other on the waters of Caesar’s creek containing one thousand acres each tract: Also all that equal undivided tenth part of a certain tract or parcel of land situate in the County of Clinton...containing in the whole Twenty thousand acres....” 

In trust nevertheless to grant bargain sell and convey the same lands to any person or persons for the best price that can be got for the same either in whole or by parcels, and to apply the proceeds thereof to the satisfaction and discharge of the principal or interest of a certain Bond of the said Nathaniel Pendleton together with the said Alexander Hamilton and John Bard as his sureties payable to John E. Le Conte of the said City of New York....

[Release of Deed: John B. Church and Nicholas Fish, Manuscript Document Signed, March 24, 180[7], 1 p., witnessed by James A. Hamilton]

Now we John B. Church, Nicholas Fish, and the said Nathaniel Pendleton Trustees under the will of the said Alexander Hamilton who survived the said John Bard, in consideration thereof...Do Release, convey alien quit claim and confirm unto the said Nathaniel Pendleton and his heirs the Lands, tenements, hereditaments appurtenances, and all and whatsoever was or were described and conveyed in the conveyance aforesaid.

[Relinquishment of Dower: Elizabeth Hamilton, Manuscript Document Signed, March 24, 1807, 1 p., witnessed by James A. Hamilton and John C. Hamilton]

I, Elizabeth hereby release all right, title, or interest I may or can have to the lands and Tenements within mentioned, unto the said Nathaniel Pendleton his heirs and assigns forever.

Alexander Hamilton (1757-1804) was born on the island of Nevis and, in 1772, came to New York City, where he enrolled in King’s College (Columbia University) in 1773. When the British occupied the city in 1776, King’s College closed, ending Hamilton’s collegiate career. Hamilton became General George Washington’s aide-de-camp in 1777. After the war, Hamilton studied law and became one of the most eminent lawyers in New York. In 1782, he was elected to the Continental Congress, where he served until October 1783. In 1784, he founded the Bank of New York, which became one of the longest-operating banks in American history. In 1786, Hamilton took the leading part at the Annapolis convention, which prepared the way for the great Constitutional Convention that met at Philadelphia in 1787, to which Hamilton was a New York delegate. In the same year, he conceived the series of essays afterward collected as The Federalist in support of the new Constitution and wrote 51 of the 85 essays himself. Upon the establishment of the new government in 1789, President Washington appointed Hamilton as Secretary of the Treasury, and he restored the country’s finances to a firm footing. In early 1795, Hamilton resigned his office but remained the leader of the Federalist Party until he died in a duel with Vice President Aaron Burr.

Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton (1757-1854) was born in Albany as the second daughter of Philip Schuyler (1733-1804) and Catherine Van Rensselaer (1734-1803). In February 1780, while staying with her aunt in Morristown, New Jersey, where the Continental Army was struggling through a devastating winter, she met Alexander Hamilton. They were soon engaged, and they married in December 1780 at the Schuyler Mansion. After the war, they moved to New York City, where Hamilton practiced law until he became Secretary of the Treasury in 1789. Hamilton’s 1791 affair with Maria Reynolds became public in 1797, but they eventually reconciled. Their first of eight children, Philip, died in a duel in November 1801. Their youngest child, born in 1802 was also named Philip, in his honor. After Aaron Burr killed her husband in a duel in 1804, and her father also died in 1804, she was forced to sell their house, The Grange, to pay Alexander Hamilton’s debts. His executors purchased the estate and sold it back to her at half price. She sold it in 1833 to purchase a New York townhouse, where she lived for nine years with two of her grown children and their spouses. Dedicated to preserving her husband’s legacy, she organized his papers and helped their son John C. Hamilton publish his father’s biography. She founded the first orphanage in New York, helping to raise hundreds of children. In 1848, she moved to Washington, D.C. where she helped Dolley Madison raise money for the Washington Monument. She died there at age 97.

Nathaniel Pendleton (1756-1821)was born in Virginia, entered the Revolutionary Army at the age of 19, and served as aide-de-camp to General Nathanael Greene in the campaigns in the southern states. After the war, he remained a close friend and adviser to the Greene family. He established a law practice in Savannah, Georgia, and served as the Attorney General of Georgia from 1785 to 1786. President George Washington appointed Pendleton as the first federal judge for the District of Georgia (1789-1796). He resigned in 1796 and returned to private practice in Dutchess County, New York. He served as a second to Alexander Hamilton in his fatal duel with Aaron Burr in 1804. He also served as one of three executors of Hamilton’s will. He married Susanna Bard (1760-1816), daughter of Dr. John Bard (1716-1799), and they had at least five children. Pendleton died in a carriage accident in Hyde Park, New York.

John Bard Jr. (1744-1803) was a son of Dr. John Bard (1716-1799); a brother of Dr. Samuel Bard (1742-1821), who served as George Washington’s personal and family physician while the President was in New York; and brother-in-law of Nathaniel Pendleton, who married his sister Susanna. During the Revolutionary War, John Bard served as a captain in the Georgia Line from 1776 to December 1778, when he was taken prisoner at Savannah. He was released on parole In New York and exchanged in October 1780. He was discharged in January 1781. In 1792, he married Mary Grover, with whom he had six children, all of whom died young. He became a merchant and insurance broker in New York City in the firm of DePeyster and Bard. He died in the yellow fever epidemic in New York City in August 1803. His will, dated August 18, 1800, and probated January 12, 1804, named his brother Samuel Bard and brother-in-law Nathaniel Pendleton as executors.

John Eatton LeConte (1739-1822) was born in New Jersey. In 1760, he became the owner of a 3,300-acre rice plantation in Liberty County, Georgia, known as the Woodmanston Plantation. In 1776, he married Jane Sloan (1746-1826), with whom he had three sons. According to one account, LeConte was commissioned in 1775 to take charge of a shipload of rice and specie from Georgia to convey to General George Washington for the relief of those evicted by the Boston Port Bill. He wrote the first account of an epidemic in Savannah. He lived most of his life in Shrewsbury, New Jersey. His son William LeConte (1777-1806) died unmarried at age thirty. His sons Lewis LeConte (1782-1838) and John Eatton LeConte Jr. (1784-1860) both graduated from Columbia College and became famous American naturalists. Several of his grandchildren also became noted scientists.

John Barker Church (1748-1818), born in England, was set up in business in London by a wealthy uncle. Bankrupt by 1774, Church went to America to escape his creditors. In July 1776, the Continental Congress appointed him as one of three commissioners to audit the accounts of the northern army. In June 1777, he eloped with Angelica Schuyler, oldest daughter of Major General Philip Schuyler, and they had eight children. They settled in Boston, where he engaged in a variety of businesses. In 1780, he obtained a contract for provisioning the French forces in America, and in 1782, became the sole supplier of the American army as well, making a fortune. From 1783 to 1785, he was a U.S. envoy to the French government. After a brief visit to America, Church and his family moved to England, where he served in Parliament from 1790 to 1796. In 1797, when his friend Robert Morris, to whom Church had loaned substantial amounts, became bankrupt, Church took over Morris’ claims and received 100,000 acres of land in western New York (current Allegany and Genesee counties) from the United States as payment. In 1799, he and his family moved to the United States, and he became a founding director of the Manhattan Company and a director of the Bank of North America. He served as one of three executors of the will of his brother-in-law Alexander Hamilton. Church returned to England after his wife Angelica died in 1814.

Nicholas Fish (1758-1833) was the son of Loyalist parents, who broke with them to support the Patriots during the American Revolution. While studying law at King’s College and working as a legal clerk in New York City from 1774 to 1776, he developed close friendships with Alexander Hamilton and Robert Troup. He served in the Continental Army and rose to the rank of colonel. During the Yorktown campaign, Fish served as second-in-command to Hamilton and led Hamilton’s New York Battalion in the assault on Redoubt No. 10, when Hamilton had overall command. He was an original member of the New York Society of the Cincinnati and served as its president from 1797 to 1804 and from 1805 to 1806. In 1784, he received an appointment as the first adjutant general of New York and held the position until 1793.  President George Washington appointed Fish in 1794 as supervisor of the Federal revenue in New York City. He served as one of three executors of his friend Alexander Hamilton’s will.

James Alexander Hamilton (1788-1878) was born in New York City, the fourth of Alexander and Elizabeth Hamilton’s children. He graduated from Columbia College in 1805 and studied law. He was admitted to the bar in 1809 and practiced law in Waterford and Hudson, New York. In 1810, he married Mary Morris (1790-1869), with whom he had five children. During the War of 1812, Hamilton served as brigade major and inspector in the New York State Militia. For a few weeks in 1829, he served as Acting Secretary of State in Andrew Jackson’s cabinet before Martin Van Buren took the position. Later in 1829, Jackson appointed Hamilton as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Like Jackson, Hamilton opposed the Second Bank of the United States, the successor to the bank created by his father in 1791. In 1867, he published his memoirs to defend his father’s reputation against critics, including Thomas Jefferson and Martin Van Buren.

John Church Hamilton (1792-1882) was born in New York City, the fifth of Alexander and Elizabeth Hamilton’s children. He graduated from Columbia College in 1809 and studied law. He served in the army during the War of 1812 as a second lieutenant and for a time aide-de-camp to General William Henry Harrison. After he resigned in 1814, he devoted himself to the study of history. Between 1834 and 1840, he sorted his father’s letters and other papers, and after failing to get others to write it, wrote his own two-volume biography titled The Life of Alexander Hamilton, published in 1840. He later edited a collection of his father’s writings, The Works of Alexander Hamilton: Containing His Correspondence, and His Political and Official Writings, Exclusive of the Federalist, published in seven volumes in 1850-1851. He married Maria Eliza van den Heuvel (1795-1873), the daughter of a prominent New York City merchant, in 1814, and they had ten children over the next two decades.

Portion of seals on right edge of bond cut away to indicate satisfaction and cancellation of bond; damp staining at corners and right edge.

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