To the United States Senate
United States [Philadelphia]
May the 3d 1792.
Gentlemen of the Senate,
I nominate Tristram Dalton,1 of Massachusetts, to be Treasurer of the Mint—Aquila Giles,2 to be Marshal of New York District, vice Mathew Clarkson, resigned—and Edward Wigglesworth,3 to be Collector of the Port of Newbury-Port, vice Stephen Cross, superseded.
DS, in Tobias Lear’s hand, DNA: RG 46, Second Congress, 1791–1793, Records of Executive Proceedings, President’s Messages—Executive Nominations; LB, DLC:GW.
On 4 May, Lear wrote Thomas Jefferson that the Senate had that day concurred with the above nominations (DNA: RG 59, George Washington’s Correspondence with His Secretaries of State; see also Executive Journal, description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America: From the commencement of the First, to the termination of the Nineteenth Congress. Vol. 1. Washington, D.C., 1828. description ends 1:122).
1. On 25 Feb. 1791 Tristram Dalton had applied to GW for the position of postmaster general, and ten months later, on 26 Dec. 1791, he wrote GW to apply for the directorship of the U.S. Mint (both DLC:GW). Both applications were unsuccessful, however. On 9 May, Dalton wrote GW from Philadelphia: “Last evening I was honored with Official Information of my being appointed Treasurer of the Mint of the United States—and have signified to the Secretary of State my acceptance of the Trust. For this mark of Favor & Confidence I beg leave, Sir, to make my very grateful acknowledgments. My affairs in Massachusetts will demand my personal attendance there a few weeks. If the business of the Mint will permit my taking the present season for that purpose I shall be happy to be indulged with liberty to go in two or three days” (DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters).
2. On 25 May, Aquila Giles wrote GW from New York: “I with great gratitude acknowledge the Honour, which your Excellency, has been pleased to confer on me, by appointing me Marshal of this District—I flatter myself, that by a strict and punctual discharge of the duties of that Office, to confirm that confidence which your Excellency has been pleased to place in me” (DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters).
3. Earlier in the day Alexander Hamilton had written GW that “Colo. Wigglesworth’s christian name is Edward,” a fact that GW apparently had not known (DLC:GW). On 25 May, Wigglesworth wrote GW from Newburyport, Mass., that “The Secretary of the Treasury has transmitted me a Commission as Collector of the Customs for the district of Newbury Port which I with gratitude accept. I am ignorant to whom I am particularly indebted for such a favor unless your Excellency has been pleas’d to remember I once serv’d in the Army, and the only proper return I can make to those who have had the goodness to think of me, will be, to use my best endeavours, with diligence & fidelity to perform the several duties of my Office” (DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters). Edward Wigglesworth (1741–1826) had served as a colonel in the Massachusetts militia in 1776 and as colonel of the 13th Massachusetts Regiment from 1 Jan. 1777 to 10 Mar. 1779. Upon Wigglesworth’s resignation the Continental Congress instructed GW to provide him with a certificate attesting to the value of his services to the American cause (JCC, description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends 13:302). In the certificate, which is dated 19 Mar. 1779, GW wrote that Wigglesworth had “uniformly supported the Character of an attentive brave and judicious Officer” (Df, DLC:GW). Wigglesworth was replaced as collector at Newburyport, Mass., on 25 June 1795 (Executive Journal, description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America: From the commencement of the First, to the termination of the Nineteenth Congress. Vol. 1. Washington, D.C., 1828. description ends 1:189).