George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Thomas Randall, July 1789

From Thomas Randall

New York, July 1789


Among the offices to be created I learn are those of Naval Officer and Surveyor—as from my education and manner of life I feel myself competent to the exercise of those offices I am induced by the advice of friends—the diminution of an easy fortune by the war and the diversion of business from its antient channels to offer my name as a Candidate to either of them.

I do not mean sir, to urge any extraordinary merit from my sacrafices during our glorious revolution, I will only suggest that I am at present Master Warden of the port of New York and in the Habit from long experience of being acquainted with the maritime situation of this state and its vicinity.

As I have ever rendered myself independant by my own industry, I have perhaps as little inclination as ability to solicit the influence of office—and I would wish to intimate that as my son has already presented himself to your view in this manner, that although each candidate should rest on his own merits—that I would be willing to relinquish my pretensions to the publick consideration in his favor—whether to be sent abroad, or enabled to enjoy his country and home. I am sir With real respect—Your obedient and humble servant

Thos Randall

ALS, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters.

For an identification of Randall, see GW’s letter to him, 2 May 1789. Randall did not get a major customs appointment under GW’s administration. He remained port warden, and by June 1790 he was acting as superintendent of lighthouses, beacons, and buoys for the Sandy Hook light and all other such installations in New York (Syrett, Hamilton Papers, description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends 6:475).

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