George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brown & Francis, 15 June 1790

From Brown & Francis

Providence [R.I.] June 15th 1790

Dr Sr,

We take the Liberty to Inclose you by our Mr Thomas Francis, the Recommendation of a number of Gentlemon in Favour of one of the Best of Citizens and one whome we know to be Truly Desearveing of the most Favorable notice of the Gentlemon of Congress, and had not their have beene a Desided Majority of Anties in both Houses of our Genl Assembly, he Certinly would have beene Elected one of the Senneters,1 the Gentlemon who was apposed to him and appointed by 16 Majority its True is Reither Fedderal but we are Sorry to have Ocation to Obsearve, that his being Brother in Law to the present Govenour we Fear he will be too much under the Controul of the Anties,2 we are with the highest Esteeme & Affection Your Obt and Most Humble Servts

Brown & Francis

P.S. the Barer our Mr T. Francis havg Lately Arived from Calcutta ware he was offten in Compy with Lord Corn Wallis perhaps Your Exeleney may if Leasure purmit, wish to have Some Conversation Respecting that Gentlemon, once your prissoner, Mr Francis Stay in New York will be Very Short havg not Seen ⟨His⟩ Famely for 19 Months.


Brown & Francis was the Providence mercantile house of John Brown and his son-in-law, John Francis (1763–1796).

1The enclosure was a letter, 15 June 1790, recommending William Bradford (1729–1808) for appointment as district judge for Rhode Island, signed by the Providence mercantile partnerships of Brown & Francis, (John) Clark & (Joseph) Nightingale, Joseph & William Russell, and (Nicholas) Brown & (George) Benson (DLC:GW). Bradford was trained as a physician but abandoned the practice of medicine for the law. He practiced law in Bristol, R.I., served as deputy governor of the state from 1775 to 1778, and was repeatedly a member of the general assembly. As the mercantile party candidate for governor in 1787, he was defeated by John Collins. He received no appointment from GW but was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1792. The enclosure also recommended Benjamin Bourne for appointment as U.S. attorney and John Singer Dexter as U.S. marshal. None of these appointments were made, but Dexter was appointed a supervisor of distilled spirits in 1791 (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 2:128–9).

2Theodore Foster, elected to the Senate on 12 June, was a nominal Federalist but also the brother-in-law of Rhode Island’s Antifederalist governor, Arthur Fenner (see Foster to GW, 26 June 1790, n.1).

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