George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Joseph Whipple, 13 July 1789

From Joseph Whipple

Portsmouth New Hampshire 13th July 1789


With great respect I beg permission to address your Excellency and to Congratulate you on your election to the Chair of Government. The happy event of your accepting the appointment diffuses the utmost Satisfaction to every Friend of his Country.

Without the foundation of any claim to the freedom of writing to you from being known to your Excellency, I take the liberty to inform you that I am now in the Office of Collector of Impost Duties for the State of New Hampshire which I have held Several Years & having given attention to the duties of this office I am desirous of continuing in it under the federal Government, wishing for the Satisfaction of contributing my part of assistance in the Support of a Government so greatly promoted by your Excellency & which presages to our Country Peace and Happiness. I have the Honour to be with the most profound respect Sir Your Excellencys Most Obedient and Most Hume Servt

Joseph Whipple


Joseph Whipple (1738–1816), a Portsmouth merchant, the son of William and Mary Cutt Whipple, served briefly as a colonel in the New Hampshire militia after the Revolution. He was a member of the New Hampshire General Court, 1776–78, 1782–83, and 1785. From 1786 to 1789 he was collector of customs at Portsmouth, and in August 1789 GW appointed him to the same post under the new government. Whipple was recommended by John Langdon. For Langdon’s recommendation of Whipple, see his letter to GW, 17 July 1789. Strongly Federalist in the early days of GW’s administration, by 1794 Whipple had followed Langdon into the Republican camp, and was removed by John Adams in 1798 in a clean sweep of the Portsmouth customs house. He was reappointed in 1802 by Jefferson (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 1:403, 405).

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