From James Seagrove
Savannah 24th July 1789
Having been lately informed that the nomination of Persons for appointments under Congress, rests with your Excellency is the reason of my thus intruding on your time which I am convinced must otherwise be fully employed.
I think it highly probable that lapse of time since I had the honor of being known by you at New York, and afterwards during part of the Campain before Boston you must have lost recollection of such a person. Since that period I have ever been a Zealous supporter of the Libertyes of this Country in the line of my Profession as a Merchant, as well as that of a Soldier whenever opportunity offered.
I will not take up your Excys time with a detail of what I have done and suffered for the United States, or my pretentious Qualifycations &c. for the Office I am about to solicit, but beg leave to refer you for information on those points to the undermentioned Senators and representatives.
The office I am a Candidate for, is that of Collector of the Imposts for the State of Georgia under Congress—Should your Excellency receive such testimonials from the Gentlemen refered to, or others, as may Induce you, to think me deserving of the important trust, I shall esteem it a happiness, and my utmost endeavour will be used in serving my Country with Honor and integrity. I am with every Sentiment of Respect and Esteem Your Excellencyes Devoted obedt Hble Sert
|The Honorable||Perce Butler||from||So. Carolina|
|Adanus Burke||So. Carolina|
|Majr Genl Benjn Lincon should he be in New York.2|
James Seagrove (c.1747–1812) was born probably in southern Ireland and by 1767 was pursuing a mercantile career in New York City. During the Revolution he engaged in business activities, sometimes in partnership with William Constable, in various cities, including New York, Philadelphia, and Havana, and was involved in the purchase of supplies for the army. He moved to Georgia in the mid–1780s and, after a brief sojourn in Savannah, settled in Camden County. During the 1780s, acting occasionally with the British firm of Panton, Leslie & Company, Seagrove developed a network of mercantile and diplomatic contacts with the Spanish and the Indians along the Georgia borders, and both the state and the federal government utilized his talents in a series of missions to the southern tribes. In 1791 GW appointed him an agent to the Creek, and he played an important role in the negotiations between that tribe and the United States government (Coleman, Georgia Biography, description begins Kenneth Coleman and Charles Stephen Gurr, eds. Dictionary of Georgia Biography. 2 vols. Athens, Ga., 1983. description ends 2:876–78; Smith, “James Seagrove and the Mission to Tuckaubatchee, 1793,” description begins Daniel M. Smith. “James Seagrove and the Mission to Tuckaubatchee, 1793.” Georgia Historical Quarterly 44 (1960): 41–55. description ends 41–55). For Seagrove’s private maneuvering to secure a federal post, see Lachlan McIntosh to GW, 14 Feb. 1789, n.4. In addition to Seagrove’s Indian appointment, GW named him collector of customs at St. Marys, Camden County, in August 1789 (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 1:11). Dissatisfied with an appointment which had produced “not one shilling,” Seagrove wrote to GW on 16 April 1790 requesting a more lucrative assignment (DLC:GW) and in March 1792 he was made inspector of the port (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 1:105, 106).
1. Seagrove meant to write “W.S.” for William Samuel Johnson.