George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Ebenezer Sproat, 9 July 1789

From Ebenezer Sproat

New York 9th July 1789


I wish to Obtain the appointment of Receiver of the Land office of the Western Teritory I have been honourd by an appointment formaly under Mr Hutchins late Geographer to the United states in that Country. and am on my way with my Family, to Muskingum where I expect to Take up my Residence Should Your Excellency think me Worthy of the appointment of Receiver and Confer it on me it will be Greatfully acknoledged. I am with sentiments of The Highest Respect & Esteem Your Excellencies Most Obt Humble servant

Ebr Sproat


Ebenezer Sproat (Sprout; 1752–1805) served during the Revolution in Massachusetts regiments, attaining the rank of lieutenant colonel commandant in 1778 and brevet colonel in 1783. He was appointed surveyor for Rhode Island in 1785 by the Confederation Congress and later surveyor of the seven ranges in the Northwest Territory. Employed by the Ohio Company as a surveyor, Sproat brought the first party of settlers to the company’s new settlement at Marietta on the Muskingum River in April 1788. He was the first sheriff of Washington County in what is now southeastern Ohio, a post he held for some fourteen years. He received no appointment, and on 15 April 1792, Sproat again wrote to GW from Marietta requesting a command “that will not do dishonour to my former rank and former Services” in the newly reorganized United States army (DLC:GW), but he was disappointed a second time. In December 1794, however, GW appointed Sproat inspector of the revenue for survey no. 2 in the district of Ohio (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 1:164, 165).

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