My January 9, 2015 talk on Rutgers v. Waddington at the Museum of American Finance is available on Youtube now, via the AHA Society’s Youtube channel.
In the case, newly minted 27-year old lawyer Alexander Hamilton controversially defended Loyalist merchant Joshua Waddington in a case brought by widow Elizabeth Rutgers under the Trespass Act. The Trespass Act was the most aggressive in a series of anti-Loyalist legislation passed by the New York State Legislature at the close of the Revolution. Hamilton argued that the Trespass Act was inconsistent with the Treaty of Paris and with the law of nations, as articulated by Hugo Grotius and Emer de Vattel. Hamilton also believed that specifically targeting the Loyalists for their participation in the war would be detrimental to the economic rebuilding of post-war New York. In all, Hamilton argued approximately 47 Trespass Act cases on behalf of Loyalists before the law was partially repealed in 1787.
Thanks to the AHA Society for again putting on a fabulous program of events and to the Museum of American Finance for hosting my talk! Special thanks to Sergio Villavicencio for recording and editing the video.