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to robert troup 2 - Alexander Hamilton, The Works of Alexander Hamilton, (Federal Edition), vol. 10 
The Works of Alexander Hamilton, ed. Henry Cabot Lodge (Federal Edition) (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904). In 12 vols. Vol. 10.
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to robert troup2
July 25, 1795.
My Dear Troup:
Confiding in your integrity and friendship to me, I have made you executor of my will. My concerns are not very extensive and of course will not give you much trouble. Indeed, I might have dispensed with the ceremony of making a will as to what I may myself leave, had I not wished that my little property may be applied as readily and as fairly as may be to the benefit of my few creditors. For after a life of labor I leave my family to the benevolence of others, if my course shall happen to be terminated here.
My property will appear on the list herewith marked A.
My creditors are John Barker Church,1 to whom I owe about five thousand pounds, as will appear by account marked B.
The Office of Discount and Deposit, New York, who hold a note of mine for five hundred dollars endorsed by Nicholas Fish. The holders, unknown, of two drafts drawn upon me by my father, one for five hundred, the other for two hundred, dollars. Mr. Meade, to whom Ceracchi gave a bill on me for six hundred and odd dollars, which I told Mr. Ludlow it was my intention to pay.
Mr. Sheaf, of Philadelphia, wine merchant, to whom I owe a balance of account not very considerable. Gaspard Joseph Armand Ducher, who has my bond in duplicate for £698 principal, being for money which he left in my hands when he went to France, having no better disposition of it. This, being a bond debt, will claim a preference, and from the nature of it I am glad of it.
Arthur Noble, Esquire, who has my bond for the fourth part of the lands purchased of him in company with yourself, Lawrence, and Fish. The lands themselves will be a fund for the payment of these bonds. I hope the poor fellow may be alive. He was a member of the convention.
I have left in the hands of Col. Fish the obligations mentioned in the list of Cortland and of Wickham & Thompson, to secure him in this mere act of friendship from the possibility of loss, and to accelerate his reimbursement.
I hesitated whether I would not also secure a preference to the drafts of my father, but these, as far as I am concerned, being a voluntary engagement, I doubted the justice of the measure, and I have done nothing. I regret it, lest they should return upon him and increase his distress. Though, as I am informed, a man of respectable connections in Scotland,1 he became, as a merchant, bankrupt at an early day in the West Indies and is now in indigence. I have pressed him to come to me, but his great age and infirmity have deterred him from the change of climate.
I hope what I leave may prove equal to my debts. If it does not, I have the consolation of hoping that the loss will be permitted by himself to fall upon my brother-in-law, Mr. Church, whose friendship and generosity I do not doubt.
I regret that his affairs as well as my own have suffered by my devotion to the public service. But I trust, upon the whole, that the few operations I have made for him will more than recompense him for my omissions, though they will not have been as profitable to him as they ought to have been, and as they would have been if I could have paid more attention.
Purchases of lands have been made for Mr. Church, first, in Pennsylvania, in company with Tench Coxe, to whom I advanced ten thousand dollars; second, in this City of New York, in company with J. Lawrence, to whom I have advanced the sums mentioned in the account marked C, in bundle AA. Besides these advances, I have put into his hands a draft of Fitsimmons upon Constable, accepted by the latter, for four thousand dollars, and a set of bills for five hundred pounds sterling, received from Robert Morris, drawn by Harrison & Sherret upon the house of Cazenove & Co., London. These are all on the same account of the purchases.
You will find, in the bundle marked AB, a smaller bundle marked D, which will explain the nature and state of the business with Mr. Coxe, by which also you will see that Mr. Anthony, who is a very good man, is my agent in that affair.
You will also find in bundle AA a note of Mr. Morris for nine thousand five hundred dollars, on account of which the above bills are. This note was for money lent belonging to Mr. Church. Mr. Morris will not dispute that it bears interest from the date. Indeed, the real sum was ten thousand dollars, but Mr. Morris after some time paid me five hundred. The interest ought to be calculated accordingly. Mr. Morris can furnish the data.
As this money was thus disposed of without being warranted by the spirit of Mr. Church’s instructions, I considered myself as responsible for it. And I trust that Mr. Morris will exert himself to pay the balance speedily, to be applied to the investments which Mr. Lawrence is making.
I have received some large fees for which the parties could not have had equivalents: from Williamson, one hundred pounds; from Constable, one hundred pounds; from Macombe, one hundred pounds; from Mr. Bayard, on behalf of Wilken and Jared Willink, one hundred pounds. It would be just, if there were means, that they should be repaid. But what can I direct who am, I fear, insolvent?
God bless you, my friend. Be assured always of the attachment of, etc.
P. S.—I remitted Sheaf, on my way through Jersey, an order on the Bank of the United States for a good part of his demand. This will appear by my bank account.
In my leather trunk, where the bundles above mentioned are, is also a bundle I. R. inscribed thus:
To be forwarded to Oliver Wolcott, Fun., Esqr.
I entreat that this may be early done by a careful hand.
This trunk contains all my interesting papers.1
Robert Troup, of New York, a gallant officer in the war for independence. He was a successful lawyer, a United States district judge, and one of Hamilton’s closest friends.
When Hamilton speaks in this way of his father, it is not surprising that so much mystery should overhang his birth and parentage.
This long and interesting letter is now first printed from the Hamilton papers in the State Department. It furnishes a striking commentary on the charges of corruption made against Hamilton by Jefferson and his tools, and on Madison’s cold sneer that Hamilton retired from office alleging poverty as the cause.