George Washington Papers

Tobias Lear to James Madison, 7 February 1790

Tobias Lear to James Madison

Sunday Morning Feby 7th 1790


In obedience to the command of the President of the United States, I have the honor to enclose you a Letter from Peyton Short Esquire1 resigning his Commission of Collecter of the Port of Louisville in Kentucky, & to request that you will be so good as to consult with Mr Brown, and any other Gentlemen from Virginia who are acquainted with characters in that part of the Country, upon a suitable person to supply the place of Mr Short and let the President know the result of your consultation this evening as he intends to give in the nominations to the Senate tomorrow.2 I have the honor to be very respectfully Sir, Yr mot Obedt Sert

Tobias Lear


ADfS, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; LB, DLC:GW.

1The enclosed letter has not been found.

2Madison wrote back to Lear the same day, noting: “I have consulted with Mr [John] Brown on the subject of a Successor to Mr Short. He is apprehensive that the reasons which induced Mr S. to decline his appointment will have the same weight with any other person who could be recommended. He names Col: Richard Taylor as worthy of the appointment, and as not more likely to follow the example of Mr Short than other fit person within his knowledge. I am acquainted with this gentleman and consider him as perfectly trustworthy. He held formerly a similar office on the Ohio when the trade of that Country was regulated by the State of Virginia” (DLC:GW). GW appointed Richard Taylor (1744–1829) collector of customs at Louisville on 9 Feb. 1790 (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 2:59, 62; Lear to Taylor, 11 Feb. 1790, DLC:GW). Taylor, the father of President Zachary Taylor, had formerly served as customs officer at the Falls of the Ohio under the state government.

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