George Washington Papers

From George Washington to the United States Senate, 3 August 1789

To the United States Senate

New York August 3, 1789

Gentlemen of the Senate,

A List having my signature to it is herewith presented to you, containing the names of Persons whom I nominate as Collectors, Naval Officers and Surveyors for the Ports to which their Names are respectively annexed; And as several applications have been addressed to the President and Senate conjointly I lay all under this description before you, for your information.

Go. Washington

New York, August 3d 17891

New Hampshire
Districts & Ports Officers Nominations
1. Portsmouth { Collector Joseph Whipple
Naval Officer Eleazer Russell
Surveyor Thomas Martin
Districts & Ports Officers Nominations
1. Newbury Port { Collector Stephen Cross
Naval Officer Jonathan Titcomb
Surveyor Michael Hodge
2. Gloucester { Collector Eppes Sergeant
Surveyor Saml Whittemore
3. { Salem { Collector Joseph Hiller
& Naval Officer William Pickman
Surveyor Barthw Putnam
Beverly Surveyor Josiah Batchelor
Ipswich Surveyor Jeremh Stainiford
4. Marblehead Collector Richard Harris
5. { Boston & { Collector Benjamin Lincoln
Naval Officer James Lovell
Charlestown Surveyor Thomas Melvill
6. Plymouth Collector William Watson
7. Barnstable Collector Joseph Otis
8. Nantucket [&]
Sherbourne Collector Stephen Hussey
9. Edgartown Collector John Pease
10. New Bedford Collector Edward Pope
11. Dighton Collector Hodijh Baylis
12. York Collector Richd Trevett
13. { Biddeford &
Pepperellborough Collector Jeremh Hill
14. { Portland & { Collector Nathl Fosdick
Falmouth Surveyor James Lunt
15. Bath Collector William Webb
16. Wiscassett Collector Frans Cook
17. Penobscot Collector John Lee
18. Frenchman’s Bay Collector Melith Jordon
19. Machias Collector Stephen Smith
20. Passamaquodi Collector Lewis Fredk
Districts & Ports Officers Nominations
1. New London { Collector Jedediah
Surveyor Nathl Richards
Stonington Surveyor Jonathn Palmer
Middletown Surveyor Asher Miller
2. New Haven { Collector Jonathan Fitch
Surveyor Hezekh Rogers
3. Fairfield Collector Saml Smedley
New York
Districts & Ports Officers Nominations
1. Sagg Harbour Collector John Gelston
2. New York { Collector John Lamb
Naval Officer Benja. Walker
Surveyor John Lasher
City of Hudson Surveyor John C. Tenbroeck
Albany Surveyor Jeremh Lansing
New Jersey
Districts & Ports Officers Nominations
1. Perth-Amboy Collector John Halstead
2. Burlington Collector John Ross
Little Egg Harbour Surveyor Ebenezer Tucker
3. Bridgetown Collector Eli Elmer
Districts & Ports Officers Nominations
1. Philadelphia { Collector Sharpe Dulany
Naval Officer Frederick Phile
Surveyor Samuel Meredith
Districts & Ports Officers Nominations
1. Wilmington Collector George Bush
Districts & Ports Officers Nominations
1. Baltimore { Collector Otho H. Williams
Naval Officer Robt Purviance
Surveyor Robt Ballard
2. Chester Collector John Scott
3. Oxford Collector Jeremh Banning
4. Vienna Collector John Muir
5. Snow Hill Collector John Gunby
6. Annapolis Collector John Davidson
7. Nottingham Collector George Biscoe
Town Creek Surveyor Robert Young
8. Nanjemoy Collector John Coates Jones
St Marys Surveyor Robert Chesley
9. George Town Collector James McCubbin
Districts & Ports Officers Nominations
1. Hampton Collector Jacob Wray
2. { Norfolk { Collector William Lindsay
& Naval Officer Philemon
Portsmouth Surveyor Daniel Bedinger
Suffolk Surveyor Archibd
Smithfield Surveyor James Wells
3. { Bermuda Hundred { Collector William Heth
or &
City-Point Surveyor Christr Roan
Richmond Surveyor David Lambert2
Petersburgh Surveyor John Gibbons
4. York Town Collector Abraham Archer
West Point Surveyor John Spotswood
5. Tappahannock Collector Hudson Muse
Urbanna Surveyor Stage Davis
Port Royal Surveyor George Catlett
Fredericksburg Surveyor William Lewis
6. Yeccomico River }
including Kinsale Collector Vincent Redman
7. Dumfries }
including New-port Collector Richd Marshall Scott
8. Alexandria { Collector Charles Lee
Surveyor Samuel Hanson
9. Folly Landing Collector William Gibb
10. Cherry Stone Collector George Savage
11. South Quay Collector Thomas Bowne
12. Louisville Collector Peyton Short
South Carolina
Districts & Ports Officers Nominations
1. George Town Collector John Cogdell
2. Charleston { Collector George Abbot Hall
Naval Officer Isaac Motte
Surveyor Edward Weyman
3. Beaufort Collector Andrew Agnew
Districts & Ports Officers Nominations
1. Savannah { Collector John Habersham
Naval Officer Benja. Fishbourn
Surveyor John Berrien
2. Sunbury Collector Cornelius Collins
3. Brunswick Collector George Handley
4. St Marys Collector James Seagrove

Go: Washington3

Copy, DNA: RG 46, First Congress, Senate Executive Journal; LB, DLC:GW.

This message was delivered to the Senate by Tobias Lear on 3 August. On receipt of it the Senate proceeded to consider and approve the nominations for the states of New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire and sent GW a copy of the proceedings. On 4 Aug. the appointments for the remaining states were reviewed, and most of the remaining appointments received Senate confirmation, with the exception of the Georgia appointments, consideration of which was postponed to the next day. At that time the nomination of Benjamin Fishbourn as collector for the port of Savannah was rejected (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 2:13–22, 23–24). For the failure of Fishbourn’s nomination, see GW to the United States Senate, 6 Aug. 1789. The appointment of Andrew Agnew as collector at Beaufort, S.C., was “Postponed for want of his Christian Name” and not approved until 7 Aug. (ibid., 22, 26).

1This document, signed by GW, is in DNA: RG 46, First Congress, President’s Messages—Executive Nominations. The document was set up as a form with the categories for districts, ports, officers, and nominations entered by Tobias Lear. GW filled in the names of the appointees. In the cases of John Scott, Jonathan Fitch, and Eli Elmer, the first name was inserted by Samuel A. Otis, who corrected GW’s rendering of James Gibbon’s name as John. Otis recorded the vote on each of the nominations with “Aye” next to the name, with the exception of Fishbourn, marked “Nay.”

2Over Lambert’s name the words “by Order, Corbin Braxton for” have been inserted. For GW’s correction on Lambert’s appointment, see his letter to the Senate, 5 Aug. 1789.

3Commissions had evidently been prepared in advance in anticipation of Senate approval. Lear sent them out, together with a copy of the collection law, to at least some of the collectors, naval officers, and surveyors on 4 Aug., requesting they acknowledge receipt of the commission “as soon as they get to your hands” (DLC:GW). The commission, a printed form, reads:

George Washington,

President of the United States of America:

To All Who Shall See These Presents, Greeting:

Know Ye, That by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, I Have appointed, and Do appoint Otho Holland Williams, Collector of the Port of Baltimore in the State of Maryland to exercise and fulfil the Powers and Duties of that Office, according to the Laws of the United States: And to have and to hold the same, with the Authorities Privileges and Emoluments thereunto of Right appertaining, during the Pleasure of the President of the United States for the Time being.

Given under my Hand, at the City of New-York, the Fourth Day of August in the Year of our Lord, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty-nine.

Go: Washington

(DS, MdHi: Otho H. Williams Papers).

The material in italics in the body of the commission represents blank spaces filled in differently for each appointee.

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