George Washington Papers

Memorandum from Jeremiah Olney, 19 June 1790

Memorandum from Jeremiah Olney

[19 June 1790]

Memo. of Sundry persons Suitable Characters to fill the Offices annexed to their Respective Names—in Rhode Island—Vizt

Towns Names Offices
Bristol William Bradford }
District Judge
Newport Henry Marchant
as to the abilities of these Gentlemen there is but little difference perhaps the Preferance if any may be in favour of Mr Marchant but Mr Bradford is the Firmist man of the Two—& has met with great losses of Property during the Revolution—
Providence Benjamin Bourne }
District attorney
Newport William Channing
As to the Abilities of these Gentlemen—Mr Bourne has the Preference—they are However both men of Tallants—
John S. Dexter Marshall
Providence William Peck Naval officer
George Olney Commissioner of Loans
North Kingstown Danl Updike Surveyor
East Greenwich Capt. Tho: Arnold, } Surveyor
lost his legg at
Warren } I have not a Sufficient knowledge of any gentlemen at these ports to Warrant a Recommendation to fill these offices.
Pawcatuck River
Pautuxet—John Anthony Aborn—Surveyor Tho I think it most Adviseable to have only an Inspector as there is at most only Two Small Sea Vessells Enter this port a year

Jereh Olney


GW had appointed Olney collector at Providence on 14 June 1790 (see GW to the U.S. Senate, 14 June 1790). Olney apparently traveled to New York to press his application and delivered this memorandum to GW while in the city. His purpose seems to have been to supply GW with a list of reliable Federalists with which to replace Antifederalist state officers. Olney explained to Alexander Hamilton on 7 June that Antifederalist Daniel Owen, president of the ratifying convention, on the advice of Antifederalist Gov. Arthur Fenner, was withholding formal notice of ratification from GW until the legislature could send Antifederalist senators to New York to influence the revenue appointments. Olney explained that “they Wish to have all the Ante Revenue officers of the State reappointed & expect the Senators will Influence the President In the nomination of these Bitter & Uniform opposers of the Constitution” (Olney to Hamilton, 7 June 1790, in Syrett, Hamilton Papers, description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends 6:458–59).

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