George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Benjamin Contee, 9 June 1790

From Benjamin Contee

Tuesday morning ⟨9th⟩ June 90


Being informed you are about to fill up your nominations of Consuls for the United States, I beg leave to mention Alexander Contee; who has requested my application in his behalf, for the consulship at the port of London. Delicacy forbids my saying much of a Brother, and might restrain me likewise from doing him Justice; But I persuade myself that if your appointment for the above po⟨r⟩t is not allready provided, It will not discredit your choice to place his name in the nomination, as consul for that port.1 He has resided in London since the year 85 and for the most of the Time at the Head of a mercantile House; He is expected to arrive soon in Maryland, but with intention to return to England in the fall.

forgive me, Sr, for the trouble I occasion you. I thought it best to do it in this mode as it leaves less room for that embarrassment consequent on applications—and places you in a less arduous situation than personal application would.

It does also favor my own deffidence nevertheless if I thought a personal application would be more expressive of respect, I would not hesitate to make it. Having the Honour to be truly, with sentiments of the highest consideration, your very respectful and most Obedient Hble Servant

Ben: Contee


Benjamin Contee (1755–1815) was born near Nottingham, Md., and served briefly as an officer of Maryland troops during the Revolution. He was a member of the Maryland house of delegates from 1785 to 1787 and was elected to the First Congress in 1788. Contee was later a minister in the Episcopal church.

1Alexander Contee (1752–1810) engaged in mercantile activities and lived near Nottingham, Md. (Bowie, Prince George’s County, description begins Effie Gwynn Bowie. Across the Years in Prince George’s County: A Genealogical and Biographical History of Some Prince George’s County, Maryland and Allied Families. Richmond, 1947. description ends 230). He received no appointment from GW.

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