George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Henry Putnam, 20 November 1790

From Henry Putnam

Savannah, Ga., 20 November 1790. Having been impoverished by his service during the whole of the late war and reduced to great straits, he offers himself as a candidate for the command of a revenue cutter and submits certificates and recommendations for his character, abilities, and knowledge of the Georgia coast.1


Henry Putnam of Maryland was commissioned in February 1780 to command the twelve-gun schooner Peggy (Claghorn, Naval Officers of the American Revolution, description begins Charles E. Claghorn. Naval Officers of the American Revolution: A Concise Biographical Dictionary. Metuchen, N.J., 1988. description ends 250).

1Only one enclosure has been found, a 20 Nov. 1790 letter from Alexander Bissell and forty-four other citizens of Savannah, recommending “Captain Henry Putnam who has for sometime past resided in this State, . . . as a fit person to be entrusted with the Command of any Vessel that may be allotted to this Station” (DLC:GW). On 11 Dec. 1790 Tobias Lear forwarded this recommendation and Putnam’s application to Alexander Hamilton (DLC:GW).

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