George Washington Papers

Bezaleel Howe to David Humphreys, 30 March 1790

Bezaleel Howe to David Humphreys

New York 30 March 1790


As Congress are making an Addition to their Military Establishment, I am induced to offer myself as a Candidate for an Appointment in the same—hopeing my past Services will claim Your influence with the President in my behalf I served in the late War almost Nine years which I hope will plead in my favor. I was a Captain in the Army, and since the Peace have been a Captain of Infantry in this City which I recruited & Disciplind for which I received the most flattering Marks of Approbation, from the Principal Officers in the State & City, many of whom have Certified, that my private as well as my Military Character stands fair—and to keep it so shall ever be my study—These are my Pretensions to the Notice of the President, and hope he may think me Worthy of an Appointment, Your Communicating my Wishes to the President will much Oblidge sir your most obedt Hbbe Servt

Bezaleel Howe


Bezaleel Howe (d. 1825), a native of New Hampshire, served as a lieutenant from 1776 to the end of the Revolution. In May 1788 GW issued a certificate stating that Howe “was an officer of a fair and respectable character, that he served some part of the last year of the war as an auxiliary Lieutenant with my own Guard, that he commanded the Escort which came with my baggage and Papers to Mount Vernon at the close of the war, and that in all my acquaintance with him I had great reason to be satisfied with his integrity, sobriety, intelligence and good dispositions” (GW to Howe, 12 May 1788, LB DLC:GW, 9 Nov. 1783, LS, NHi: Howe Papers). After the war Howe settled in New York. In March 1791 he was appointed a lieutenant with the U.S. Infantry, served in the army’s western campaigns, and retired from the army in 1796 as a major. During the Quasi-War Howe again applied for military appointment, but on a list of officers considered for appointment a notation by Hamilton next to his name comments that Howe “has been a Major in the army & looks to it again—is believed to be not fit for it” (Hamilton to James McHenry, 21 Aug. 1798, Syrett, Hamilton Papers, description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends 22:105, 107).

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