From James McHenry
Baltimore 1st June 1788.
Captn Barney being the bearer of the present from the merchants of Baltimore would, I am persuaded, be a sufficient introduction, and insure to him without any thing further a favorable reception. I cannot however omit the occasion this offers me of placing it more upon his own merit. Permit me therefore to mention, that the federal cause in this Town is not only greatly indebted to his exertions, but that he has rendered his country valuable services as a brave sea officer in the late revolution.1
I congratulate you upon the adoption of the constitution by South Carolina and am, Dear Sir, with the most sincere regard and affection your obt & hble servt
1. Captain Joshua Barney (1759–1818) was the hero of the naval action in April 1782 in which the Hyder-Ally captured the much larger General Monk. On 9 June GW wrote in his diary: “Captn. Barney, in the Miniature Ship Federalist—as a present from the Merchants of Baltimore to me arrived here” (Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 5:339). The 15–foot Federalist had been featured in the parade through the streets of Baltimore on 1 May in celebration of Maryland’s ratification of the new Constitution (Maryland Journal [Baltimore], 6 May and 3 June 1788). See also GW to William Smith, 8 June.