George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Thomas, 5 May 1793

From William Thomas

Baltimore May 5th 1793


I had the Honor (through the recomendation of Capt. Barney) to be appointed Second Mate of the Maryland Cutter under the Command of Capt. Gross in Which capacity I acted until his Resignation, in July last—Our first Mate Capt. Porter Was then promoted to the command Since Which time I have Done the Duty of first Mate and in fact have been the only Acting Mate on board As Mister Forbes our third Mate Was Suspended Soon After Capt. Porter Was Appointed to the Command1—the Duty of the Vessell in course has fallen perticularly hard on me and to be Allow’d only Second Mates pay for Doing the Whole Duty of the Vessell is A hardship I hope your Goodness Will Redress.

I Stated my Situation to the Secretary of the Treasury last Fall by letter but As ten Months has elaps’d Without my being noticed I make bold to address you My Self in hopes you Will consider My perticula⟨r⟩ Situation and Allow me the compensation Due for my past Services2—I Am Sir your Most Obedient Servant

William Thomas

ALS, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters.

1Joshua Barney was currently the vendue master for Maryland (Barney to GW, 15 Sept. 1790, source note). For the resignation of Simon Gross as the captain of the revenue cutter Active and the subsequent promotion of David Porter, who at this time was still only acting captain, see GW to Alexander Hamilton, 5 Aug. 1792, and note 3. James Forbes was the suspended third mate.

2The letter from Thomas to Hamilton has not been identified, but GW forwarded this letter to Hamilton on 8 May (JPP, description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed. The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797. Charlottesville, Va., 1981. description ends 130–31). On 20 May, Hamilton provided GW with an explanation of Forbes’s suspension, and the next day he verbally asked the president to grant commissions to Porter and Thomas as master and first mate, respectively (Hamilton to GW, 20 May, and note 1; ibid., 145). For Porter’s response to this commission, see his letter to GW of 17 Aug. 1793.

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