October 25, 2021 10:00 EST

The Alexander Hamilton Collection of John E. Herzog

 
  Lot 43
 
Lot 43 - [Hamilton, Alexander] [Morris, Gouverneur, and Rufus King and Oliver Wolcott, Jr., et al.]

43

[Hamilton, Alexander] [Morris, Gouverneur, and Rufus King and Oliver Wolcott, Jr., et al.]
Partially-Printed Share in Alexander Hamilton's Estate

An extraordinary and rare share in the trust of the Estate of Alexander Hamilton

New-York, November 29, 1804. One sheet, 6 x 7 in. (152 x 178 mm). Partially-printed share (No. 272) in the trust of the Estate of Alexander Hamilton, issued to William Rogers, and signed at bottom by the estate's five trustees: Gouverneur Morris, Rufus King, Egbert Benson, Oliver Wolcott, Jr., and Charles Wilkes. A fine example. Lot includes ephemera related to Hamilton.

Following Hamilton's death at the hands of Aaron Burr in their legendary duel on July 11, 1804 (see lot 42), Hamilton's friends formed a trust and sold off shares to benefit his family as his estate was largely insolvent. The scheme was successful—and largely secret to the public—but over time his dire finances plagued his widow Eliza and their seven children. Twelve years after Hamilton's death, on April 2, 1816, after repeated efforts by Eliza, Congress finally awarded her close to $10,000, a year's worth lump sum of Hamilton's military pension, and in 1837 Congress awarded her land grants owed to Hamilton.

As Ron Chernow observes, "To keep the family afloat, Gouverneur Morris organized a secret subscription fund among Hamilton's friends. He had to conquer an automatic assumption that the Hamilton children, with their rich grandfather, would never know want. Morris and more than one hundred other subscribers poured in about eighty thousand dollars, while New England Federalists donated Pennsylvania land as well. This fund was such a closely guarded secret that Hamilton's children did not know of it for a generation, and the Bank of New York managed to keep its existence confidential until 1937."

Sold for $9,450
Estimated at $3,000 - $5,000


 

An extraordinary and rare share in the trust of the Estate of Alexander Hamilton

New-York, November 29, 1804. One sheet, 6 x 7 in. (152 x 178 mm). Partially-printed share (No. 272) in the trust of the Estate of Alexander Hamilton, issued to William Rogers, and signed at bottom by the estate's five trustees: Gouverneur Morris, Rufus King, Egbert Benson, Oliver Wolcott, Jr., and Charles Wilkes. A fine example. Lot includes ephemera related to Hamilton.

Following Hamilton's death at the hands of Aaron Burr in their legendary duel on July 11, 1804 (see lot 42), Hamilton's friends formed a trust and sold off shares to benefit his family as his estate was largely insolvent. The scheme was successful—and largely secret to the public—but over time his dire finances plagued his widow Eliza and their seven children. Twelve years after Hamilton's death, on April 2, 1816, after repeated efforts by Eliza, Congress finally awarded her close to $10,000, a year's worth lump sum of Hamilton's military pension, and in 1837 Congress awarded her land grants owed to Hamilton.

As Ron Chernow observes, "To keep the family afloat, Gouverneur Morris organized a secret subscription fund among Hamilton's friends. He had to conquer an automatic assumption that the Hamilton children, with their rich grandfather, would never know want. Morris and more than one hundred other subscribers poured in about eighty thousand dollars, while New England Federalists donated Pennsylvania land as well. This fund was such a closely guarded secret that Hamilton's children did not know of it for a generation, and the Bank of New York managed to keep its existence confidential until 1937."

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