George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Page, 31 July 1789

From John Page

New York July 31st 1789


That I may not be troublesome & appear to others if not to yourself to obtrude myself too often on your Goodness, I take this Method of apologising for leaving a Letter with your Lady, & directing it to you without knowing its Contents but Sir Mrs Whiting’s Character & good Sense, induced me to comply with her Request, which was to direct her Letter & present it to you.1 At the Request of Captain Roane who is very warmly recommended to me by Col. Mathews of Norfolk I inclose his Commission as Searcher of the District in which he prays you will be pleased to continue him2 or that you will give him such other Commission in the Customs as you may think proper—in Justice to Captain Roane3 I have inclosed Col. Mathews Recommendation of him4—Be pleased to accept of my warmest Thanks for your kind Intimations to me of your garcious & benevolent Intentions respecting the Loss of my deceased Friend5 & be assured that I am Sir with the highest Respect your much obliged & most obedient hble Servant

John Page


1The letter was undoubtedly that from Elizabeth Whiting to GW, 12 July 1789.

2The last words on the first leaf of Page’s letter are “or give him.” He inadvertently repeated some of the phrase at the top of the next page.

3Christopher Roane (d. 1795), who served with a Virginia state regiment during the Revolution, was appointed searcher at City Point in April 1787. In August 1789 GW appointed him searcher either for Bermuda Hundred or City Point (DHFC description begins Linda Grant De Pauw et al., eds. Documentary History of the First Federal Congress of the United States of America, March 4, 1789-March 3, 1791. 20 vols. to date. Baltimore, 1972—. description ends , 2:16, 21; Salem Gazette (Massachusetts), 27 Oct. 1795; White, Genealogical Abstracts description begins Virgil D. White. Genealogical Abstracts of Revolutionary War Pension Files. 4 vols. Waynesboro, Tenn., 1990–92. description ends , 3:2900). Roane evidently had come to New York to pursue a federal appointment since he carried a letter of introduction from Joseph Jones to James Madison, 11 July 1789, asking Madison’s help in continuing Roane in office (DLC:GW).

4 No letter of recommendation for Roane from Thomas Mathews is now among the applications for office in DLC:GW.

5Page is undoubtedly referring to Gov. Thomas Nelson, his friend and classmate at the College of William and Mary, who died in January 1789.

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