George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Conway, 23 April 1789

From John Conway

Woodbridge [N.J.] Apl 23d 1789.

Colo. Conway Begs leave to Congratulate his Excellency General Washington on his appointment to the Presidency of the United States, and respectfully offers himself a Candidate for employment by the Honorable Congress, either as Collector of the Customs for New-Jersey, or any appointment to which he may be thought competent. Enclosed are Recommendations and Vouchers for the inspection of the President, if he will condscend to read them.1

John Conway.


John Conway (1743–1802) was a captain and major in the 1st New Jersey Regiment from November 1775 to October 1778. He then went briefly to the 3d New Jersey before being promoted to lieutenant colonel of the 1st New Jersey on 5 July 1779. He remained in the army until January 1781. He also served as high sheriff of Middlesex County.

1Only one enclosure has been found: a certificate from Gov. William Livingston that Conway had been “a spirited vigilant officer & a respectable Citizen of New Jersey—& a Gentleman that exerted himself with great zeal in the late Revolution on the part of America” (DLC:GW). Conway wrote to GW on 13 Sept. 1789, in a second application for an appointment, that he had enclosed in his earlier letter “recommendations from the Governor, Chief Justice and other respectable characters. Praying to be appointed a Collector of the Customs for New Jersey, or any other office to which I might be thought competent but not being favored with an appointment in the Arrangement of Officers hitherto made, and being informed that Marshals will be appointd for the Federal Courts, I beg leave again to trouble your Excellency, in humble hope of being appointed Marshal for the District of New Jersey” (DLC:GW). Apparently he also applied for a post with the revenue cutters in August 1790, for there are copies of letters recommending him to Alexander Hamilton from James Shurman, Lambert Cadwalader, Thomas Sinnicksen, William Paterson, and Jonathan Elmer in DLC:GW. On 15 Feb. 1791 Conway again wrote to GW citing his faithful service during the Revolution and requesting an appointment (DLC:GW).

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