Lot 1062
  • 1062

Alexander Hamilton

15,000 - 25,000 USD
40,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Two autograph memoranda, one with a diagram, planning the gardens at the Grange
  • Paper, ink
2 autograph manuscripts [New York, 1802], the first, 2 pages on a bifolium (12 5/8 x 7 7/8 in.; 321 x 198 mm); top of the first leaf cut away costing the first paragraph of text on the recto and part of the text of the fourth paragraph on the verso (this loss occurred prior to 1910 when Allan McLane Hamilton published the document; see below), worn at folds, lightly browned; the second, one page (5 3/4 x 5 1/2 in.; 146 x 140 mm) on a slip of light blue paper; worn with fold separations, some foxing.


The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, ed. Syrett, 26:182–183 (text taken from Allan McLane Hamilton's Intimate Life of Alexander Hamilton; original manuscripts not located)

Catalogue Note

Hamilton plans the gardens for his beloved Grange, the only home he ever owned. The Grange was a handsome two-story Federal home designed by architect John McComb Jr. and named after Hamilton's family home in Scotland, as well as his uncle James Lytton’s plantation in St. Croix. The house was originally the centerpiece of Hamilton's extensive estate in upper Manhattan. The Grange was completed in 1802, so Hamilton was able to live there for just two years prior to his death. The larger of the two memoranda focuses on flower gardens: 

"2. The Gardener, after marking these out and making a beginning by way of example, will apply himself to the planting of Raspberries in the orchard. He will go to Mr. [John] Delafield for a supply of the English sort and if not sufficient will add from our own and some to be got from our neighbors." Delafield was a New York merchant and banker; he had a country home on Long Island, from which, perhaps, Hamilton's English raspberries were to be gotten.

"3. If it can be done in time I should be glad if space could be prepared in the center of the flower garden for planting a few tulips, lilies, hyacinths, and[——]. The space should be a circle of which the diameter is Eighteen feet: and there should be nine (9) of each sort of flowers; but the gardener will do well to consult as to the season. They may be arranged thus:" Here Hamilton has drawn a diagram indicating how he would like the flowers arranged; twelve areas of planting around the circumference of the circle, beginning at 12 o'clock with lilies, and proceeding with tulips, undetermined, hyacinths, undetermined, lilies, tulips, lilies, hyacinths, undetermined, hyacinths, and tulips.

The manuscript continues with a marginal note ("Wild roses around the outside of the flower garden with laurel at foot.") and picks up where some text of point 4 has been lost at the head of the page: "the road. The walks and roads must all rise in the center. 

"5. If practicable in time I should be glad some laurel should be planted along the edge of the shrubbery and round the clump of trees near the house; also sweet briars and* [——] A few dogwood trees not large, scattered along the margin of the grove would be very pleasant, but the fruit trees there must be first removed and advanced in front.

"These labours, however, must not interfere with the hot bed."

The second memorandum covers several further points, numbered 1–4: transplanting trees, repairing fences, potatoes, placement of sod and compost, digging a ditch.

Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960, the Grange has been moved twice and is now a National Park Service site in St. Nicholas Park in Harlem.