George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Thompson, 18 July 1789

From William Thompson

Colchester [Va.] July 18th 1789


I have by the Advice of some of my friends, Taken the Liberty of Writing you on a subject, which I fear you have been Already too much fatigued. However I hope it may not be Attended with any Inconvenience, to have my Name Mentioned as a Candidate for an Appointment, Under the New Government, in the Naval Office Department, at Either George Town or Alexandria, as I am Informed boath of those Places, are to be Ports of Entry & Delivery, of Course it’s to be Expected, there will be some New Officers Necessary, or I woud by no means, wish to Interfear with the Interest of any Old ones, but Only wish to be Enroled on the List of New Apointments; & shou’d I be so fortunate, as to succeed, I hope & Trust, that I may have sufficient Qualifications to render General satisfaction. Otherways I woud by no Meanes have Ventured to have Taken this Liberty & in which I must pray your Excuse. & am with every sentiment of Respect Your Excellencys Most Obedt & Very Hble st

Wm Thompson


William Thompson was originally from King George County but had established a mercantile business in Colchester by 1773. In 1785 Thompson married Ann Washington, daughter of Lund Washington’s brother Robert Washington. The Thompson and Washington families occasionally exchanged visits (Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 3:321, 4:283, 5:63, 340, 440). David Stuart wrote GW, 20 July, in unenthusiastic support of Thompson’s application: “Mr Thompson of Colchester, has pressed me so far into his service, as to mention him to you, for some one of those offices, which will be established at Alexa. & Ge[orge]town, for collecting & securing the duties—It has been an unpleasing task to me, and one which I would not have undertaken, but from this consideration, that it would at least furnish you with a greater number of Candidates to choose from, and consequently increase the chance, of your meeting with such, as might ultimately prove themselves worthy—I have no doubt, but you have long ago recieved many applications on this subject; and that the respective merits of the Applicants will determine their success—I can only say that Mr Thompson has allways appeared to me, as a man of integrity and industry” (DLC:GW). Thompson did not receive a federal appointment.

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