George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Sharp, 13 May 1789

From John Sharp

Philada May 13th 1789

The petition of John Sharp of the City of Philadelphia humbly Sheweth

That your petitioner in the course of the late Revolution had the honor to serve as a Captain in the service of the United States, as the Certificate herewith produced will testify—That he has a Wife and family to maintain, and at this present time is in want of Employment for the Support of himself and family, and humbly prayeth that Your Excellency will be pleased to appoint him the Officer of the Customs or Revenue Boat for the State of Pennsylvania, or to such other Post or Office as in your Wisdom shall seem meet—And your petitioner as in duty bound will ever pray &c.

John Sharp


John Sharp was appointed a second lieutenant of Ottendorff’s Corps in March 1777 and later in the war served in both Pulaski’s Legion and Armand’s Partisan Corps. Sharp enclosed his letter to GW in one of 13 May 1789 to John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg, United States congressman from Pennsylvania, asking him to send the letter to GW. To solicit Muhlenberg’s support for his application, Sharp wrote “as I have a Wife and family to maintain, having no settled Way of Business, I am a good deal streightened in Circumstances, and unless I can get into some way of earning our Support, my family must suffer—I flatter myself that You will not refuse me this favor, and that in Case I cannot be appointed the Officer of the Customs or Revenue in Pennsylvania—that You will be pleased to use your Interest for me with his Excellency, so that I may be appointed to some other Post or Office, which You may think me suitable for” (DLC:GW).

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