George Washington Papers

Timothy Pickering to Tobias Lear, 14 January 1793

Timothy Pickering to Tobias Lear

Philaa Jany 14. 1793.

Dear Sir,

The inclosed letter from Samuel Freeman Esqr. of Portland I should have presented long ago: but laying it by in my desk very safely, it has been overlooked.1 Perhaps it may now be of no consequence. Possibly you may know Mr Freeman. He has written to me in consequence of an acquaintance formed by his being the postmaster at Portland. I take him to be of a very respectable character there; and that his information may be relied on for its truth and impartiality. If the point to which it refers be not decided, be so good as to present it to the President. I am with great regard Your most h’ble servt

T. Pickering


1Samuel Freeman (1743–1831) of Portland, District of Maine, was a delegate to the Massachusetts provincial congress in 1775 and to the Massachusetts house of representatives in 1776 and 1778. He served as a clerk of the court for forty-five years, beginning in 1775, and as the register for the probate court until 1804 when he became a probate judge. From 1776 until 1805 Freeman was postmaster of Portland. His many publications include The Columbian Primer, or The School Mistresses Guide to Children, in Their First Steps to Learning (Boston, 1790), The Town Officer (Portland, 1791), The Probate Auxiliary (Portland, 1793), A Valuable Assistant to Everyman, or, The American Clerk’s Magazine (Boston, 1794), The Massachusetts Justice (Boston, 1795), and Extracts from the fournals Kept by the Rev. Thomas Smith (Portland, 1821).

The enclosed letter from Freeman to Pickering has not been identified, but it may have been a recommendation for an acquaintance’s appointment to the post of U.S. marshal for the District of Maine, a position that soon would become vacant due to the election of its current occupant, Henry Dearborn (1751–1829), to the U.S. House of Representatives (see David Sewall to Tobias Lear, 20 Feb. 1793).

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