George Washington Papers

To George Washington from James McCubbin Lingan, 13 May 1789

From James McCubbin Lingan

George Town May 13th 1789


Being informed that your Excellency Receives none but written applications from candidates for office. I have only to Say that I was appointed to the naval office at this Port from its first Establishment. in the Execution of this duty I trust general Satisfaction has been given and I know it has been discharged with fidelity to the State. Should the office be continued under the present Government; I take the liberty of offering, my services. I have the Honour to be with the greatest Respect Sir your Excellencys Most Obedt Servant

James McCubbin Lingan


James McCubbin Lingan (1751–1812), a merchant in Georgetown, Md., was a second lieutenant in a Maryland rifle regiment in 1776 taken prisoner at Fort Washington. He may subsequently have served with Rawlings, Additional Continental Regiment. When Georgetown was incorporated in December 1789, Lingan was made alderman.

In support of Lingan’s application, GW received two letters, one of 12 May 1789, signed by three Georgetown merchants, Robert Peter, Brooke Beall, and Bernard O’Neill, and another of 5 July 1789 from Otho H. Williams of Baltimore, stating that “Captn Lingan was bred to the business of a Merchant under the late Mr Thomas Richardson of George Town.” Williams went on to say that “upon the Division of the Naval District on Potowmack, he [Lingan] was appointed a Naval Officer, and has discharged his duty with attention and reputation. Captn Lingan has a general good Character, and a respectable capacity for business—His circumstances are not affluent, if easy, and, I believe, that he has some female relations dependent upon his fortune and his affections” (DLC:GW). In August 1789 GW named Lingan collector of the customs at Georgetown and in March 1792 made him inspector of the revenue for that port (Executive Journal, description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America: From the commencement of the First, to the termination of the Nineteenth Congress. Vol. 1. Washington, D.C., 1828. description ends 1:11, 14, 104, 111).

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