From Benjamin Galloway
Annapolis [Md.] March 27th 1792.
I have taken the Liberty of making the following Communication, in confidence that it will be attributed to a proper Motive, though it should not eventually be productive of the desired Consequence—a Young Gentleman,1 who served the United States in the Cavalry during the late War; who was afterwards honoured with an Appointment in your Family, and who now resides on the Eastern Shore of the State of Maryland, by a casual concurrence of unfortunate Circumstances, has sustained a considerable Loss of property, insomuch that he has it in contemplation to remove himself, an amiable Wife, and large young Family to the Western Waters—being incapacitated to encounter the Difficulties necessarily connected with such an Undertaking, the probable Consequences would be extremely distressful to himself and Family: I am perswaded Inclination will not be wanting in your Disposition, Sir, to make such provision for him as will enable him to continue in this Country, should a favourable Opportunity offer for so doing, by such an Appointment in the Service of his Country, as his Qualifications entitle him to fill, with Credit to himself and advantage to the Commonwealth—I am with perfect Consideration. Sir. Your Obedient & devoted Servt
ALS, DLC:GW. The addressed cover of the letter is postmarked Annapolis, 28 Mar. 1792.
Benjamin Galloway (1752–1831) of Anne Arundel County, Md., was a lawyer and planter who served in the lower house of the Maryland legislature in 1777, as state attorney general in 1778, and in various local judicial offices during the 1780s.
1. The “Young Gentleman” was probably William Shaw, who had served as GW’s secretary between July 1785 and August 1786. Upon leaving GW’s employ, Shaw had given GW the impression that he intended “to proceed to the Northward to embark at Philadelphia for the West Inds” (Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 5:30). GW, who had often complained about Shaw’s absences from Mount Vernon during his tenure as secretary, apparently never appointed Shaw to a federal office (see Thomas Montgomerie to GW, 21 June 1785, note 1; Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 4:158–59). Shaw headed a household of six whites and two slaves in Kent County, Md., in 1790 (Heads of Families [Maryland] description begins Heads of Families at the First Census of the United States Taken in the Year 1790: Maryland. 1907. Reprint. Baltimore, 1965. description ends , 84).