George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Elihu Marshall, 25 March 1793

From Elihu Marshall

New York March 25th 1793


Understanding by Capt. Dennis that the Office of first-mate of the revenue cutter of this district was vacant1—I beg leave to solicit you for an appointment to fill the vacancy—A few years past, I would not have accepted of such an Office—I was in good circumstances—but I have been unfortunate—not long ago I was Shipwrecked on the Coast of Ireland which nearly ruined me—and recently was upset at sea—was four Days on the bottom of the wreck—I lost my all except, a shirt & trowsers which I had on—Since which I have plyed between this & Boston as a pilot—the Business is small—I have a large family—we are reduced—The Office I solicit will afford us a subsistance—If nautical quallifications (for I was brought up to the sea) and a thorough knowledge of the coast—If my former services in the army—and my present necessities are sufficient recommendations I am confident I do not solicit in vain—knowing your heart must ever dilate with infinite pleasure whenever you have it in your power to aleviate the sufferings of an old Soldier I am Sir with the greatest Esteem your most Obt Sert

Elihu Marshall

P.S. Least you should not recognize me by my name I Just mention that I had a Company in Courtland 4 Regt & that in 78 & 79 I was Brigd. Majr to Genl Poor.

ALS, DLC:GW. Postoffice stamps of “FREE” and “N-YORK MrH 25” appear on the cover.

During the Revolutionary War, Elihu Marshall (1750–1806) served as an adjutant and captain in the 2d New York Regiment under Col. Philip Van Cortlandt and as a brigade major in Gen. Enoch Poor’s brigade. He ended his military career as a captain in the New York levies under Col. Marinus Willett.

1Capt. Patrick Dennis, the current commander of the New York revenue cutter Vigilant, recommended “John Tanner of New York” for the firstmate’s position (Alexander Hamilton to GW, 20 July 1793). For GW’s appointment of Tanner in July 1793, see JPP, description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed. The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797. Charlottesville, Va., 1981. description ends 205.

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