George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Hugh Williamson, 5 February 1790

From Hugh Williamson

Friday P.M. 5th Feby 1790

Mr Williamson has taken the Liberty, in the enclosed Paper to mention the Names of Gentlemen who as he conceives would discharge the Duties of the Offices affixed to their several Names with Reputation.

In Wilmington. Col: Read is now Collector & Jno. Walker is Naval Officer.
In Newbern Capt: Daves is now Collector
at Beaufort Col. Easton has long been Collecter or Naval Officer.
In Washington Capt. Keis is now Collector.
In Edenton. Thos Benbury is now Collector & Michl Payne is Naval Officer.

It appears strange that neither Navl Officer nor Surveyor are to be appointed in so considerable a Port of Entry. 330 Vessels entered there in 1787. No other Person offering who is better qualifyed to discharge the various Duties of that Office (Collector) perhaps it might be given at present to me one or ’tother of the Officers named.

Cambden is a new Port.

Genl Isaac Gregory is recommended as a Gentleman whose Character as Soldier and Citizen stands high in the universal Esteem of his fellow Citizens. He is a Man of respectable Property; has the full Confidence of his Country and is the constant Enemy to public Officers suspected of corrupt Practices.

The Gentlemen mentioned for Surveyors in the Ports of Delivery belonging to Edenton and Cambden Districts are the most respectable Characters in the Vicinity not concerned in Trade who would probably be willing to accept of such an Office.

There are two or three Blanks either because Mr Williamson does not at present recollect the Name of any Person living near the Port or does not know any Person there whom he can recommend according to his Ideas of Propriety.


Hugh Williamson had been elected to the First Congress from North Carolina. He took his seat on 19 March. GW received Williamson’s letter on 5 Feb. and on the same day submitted his list to North Carolina senators Benjamin Hawkins and Samuel Johnston, who had taken their seats in January, “for their Inspection and alteration” (Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 6:28).

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