George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Daniel Delozier, 8 August 1793

From Daniel Delozier

Baltimore, August 8 1793


I have taken the liberty of soliciting the appointment of Surveyor of the port of Baltimore, which has become vacant by the death of Colo. Ballard.1

I have performed the duties of Deputy Collector of the Customs, under General Williams, from the commencment of the present system of Government, and I flatter myself that my uniform conduct, in that capacity, has been such as to merit the approbation of those concerned.2

General Williams is at present at the farm in Frederick and as soon as opportunity will admit, I shall have the honor of transmitting to your Excellency such particulars respecting my situation and general conduct as have come within his immediate view.3 I have the honor to be, with much respect, Your Excellency’s most Obedt and Hble Servant

D. Delozier


1The death of Robert Ballard produced at least nineteen applicants for the position of surveyor of customs at Baltimore (David Plunket to GW, 7 Aug. 1793, n.1).

2Otho Holland Williams had served as the collector of customs at Baltimore since August 1789 (GW to U.S. Senate, 3 Aug. 1789, and note 1).

3Daniel Delozier (c.1760–1813) received several letters of recommendation, including a letter from Williams to GW of 10 Aug. written at Elizabeth Town, Maryland. After noting that his “Habitual ill health” had caused him to “be from home,” Williams wrote: “Mr Delozier has been several years with me as Deputy in the Office of Collector, as well under the old as under the new Government, He is well acquainted with all the laws of Congress relative to the Customs, is diligent and correct in business, Is a married man respectably connected, and of a fair Character. Mr Delozier is generally esteemed as a public Officer, and I believe could obtain good recommendations from all the Merchants of Baltimore” (DLC:GW).

Delozier enclosed such a recommendation, which was dated 7 Aug. and signed by twenty-five Baltimore businessmen who agreed that he conducted his duties as deputy collector to the “entire Satisfaction of the Merchants” (DLC:GW). Congressman Samuel Smith’s third letter to GW from Baltimore of 8 Aug. noted that Delozier’s “Industry, assiduity, Capability & attention are not to be Exceeded by any one” (DLC:GW). GW received Smith’s letter on 10 August.

John Davidson, a member of the Maryland executive council, wrote GW from Annapolis on 10 Aug. 1793 that Delozier, “a natural born Citizen of the State of Virginia in his moral and political Character is unexceptional & will upon investigation be approved by your Excellency, and as to his Capacity and Intergrity he cannot be excelled for the appointment” (DLC:GW). Alexander Contee Hanson, chancellor of Maryland, wrote GW from Annapolis on 13 Aug. that because Delozier “has not the honour of being personally known to you, I take the liberty of informing you, that I have for several years been acquainted with him, whilst he resided in Annapolis.” He also added “that almost from the time of General Williams’s appointment to the place of collector, Mr Delozier, as his deputy, has performed all the duties; and that the direction of the customs in Baltimore has, in effect, been chiefly under his controul; the General’s health having been such as to prevent him from attending personally to his office” (DLC:GW). Philadelphia wine merchant Henry Hill wrote a letter to GW of 16 Aug. covering an unidentified letter of recommendation from “two excellent women” (DLC:GW).

GW appointed Delozier to the vacant position, and on 25 Aug. he wrote letters explaining his choice to Charles Carroll of Carrollton and John Eager Howard (GW to U.S. Senate, 27 Dec. 1793).

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