George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Abiel Foster and Benjamin Huntington, 14 June 1790

From Abiel Foster and Benjamin Huntington

New York June 14th 1790


We hope it’s not disagreeable that we mention the Hone William Ellery of Newport as a good man for a Commissioner of loans or a District Judge, or a Collector of the Duties for the Port of Newport in Rhode Island1 His Character is well known from past services in, & under various appointments from, the late Congress He was commissioner of Loans at the adoption of the Constitution and will doubtless give Satisfaction in any of the abovementioned Offices. We2 are most Respectfully your most hume Servts

Abiel Foster

Benj. Huntington


Abiel Foster (1735–1806) represented New Hampshire in the First Congress. He graduated from Harvard in 1756 and was a minister from 1761 to 1779. In 1775 he was elected to the New Hampshire Provincial Congress, and he represented that state in the Continental Congress from 1783 to 1785. Benjamin Huntington (1736–1800) was a Norwich, Conn., lawyer and a graduate of Yale. Before his election to the First Congress in 1789, Huntington served in the Massachusetts legislature and the Continental Congress.

1William Ellery (1727–1820), a prominent Newport lawyer, was one of Rhode Island’s leading Federalists. He graduated from Harvard in 1747 and engaged in various activities before taking up the practice of law in 1770. Ellery served as a delegate to the Continental Congress almost continuously from 1776 until 1786, becoming one of the most active members of that body. He was elected chief justice of the Rhode Island Superior Court in 1785 and served as commissioner of loans for Rhode Island from 1786 to 1790. GW appointed him collector at Newport on 14 June 1790. He held the post until his death.

2In the MS this word reads “were.”

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