George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Jonathan Deare, 14 July 1789

From Jonathan Deare

New Brunswick [N.J.] July 14th 1789

May it please your Excellency.

It having been suggested that doubts had arisen respecting the propriety of appointing a person to the Office of Collector for this State whose residence is not in Amboy, where the Office will probably be established, I take the liberty to inform your Excellency that if I am honored with the appointment and find it necessary I intend to remove to that place.

I have the honour to be with profound respect and attachment Your Excellencys Most Obdt Hble Sert

Jona. Deare


Jonathan Deare (1738–1796) was a New Brunswick lawyer. He held a number of local offices, served in the New Jersey militia during the Revolution, and as customs collector for New Jersey’s Eastern District. For criticism of Deare as “infirm” and “inactive,” see the comments of the writer of an anonymous letter to GW, 13 July 1789. He had been sheriff of Middlesex County since 1788.

There is no earlier letter from Deare, but he may have presented his application in person while GW was on his way to New York. On 7 Mar. 1789 Deare wrote from New Brunswick to Gov. William Livingston: “Intending to memorialize His Excellency the President of the United States, when he arrives in this town on his way to Congress, that he will be pleased to place me in nomination for an Office in this State, but not having the honor to be personally known to him, I take the liberty to request the favor of Your Excellency to write a recommendatory letter to him in my Behalf . . . that I may have it ready to present to His Excellency at the same time with my memorial. I am sensible of the delicate situation in which His Excellency the President will be placed, on account of the numerous applications that will be made to him from all quarters, and I should be extremely sorry to add to his Embarrassment; but the Duty I owe my family impels me to trouble him with my sollicitations” (MHi: William Livingston Papers). Deare did not receive a federal appointment.

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