George Washington Papers

To George Washington from James Lloyd, 14 August 1793

From James Lloyd

City Tavern [Philadelphia] 14 August. 1793.


I do myself the honor to enclose a letter to your Excellency from Mr Tilghman—It relates to the appointment of Surveyor of the Port of Baltimore.1

It is matter of delicacy to speak of onesself yet I trust there can be no impropriety in mentioning that I have served my Country in the field and in both branches of the Legislature of Maryland, during the most critical periods of American affairs—For several years since the war my domestic concerns have rendered it necessary for me to remain in a private station; yet I have reason to believe that your Excellency will find, upon enquiry, that I still possess the confidence of my Country men.

My Circumstances altho’ not such as would enable me to make so comfortable a provision, for a large and encreasing family, as I could wish, are yet ample enough to place me above the temptation of doing any thing mean or dishonorable. Thus circumstanced I take the liberty of solliciting, that if no person better qualified should be found on the list of Applicants, your Excellency would honor me with the appointment in question.2 I have the Honor to be with the utmost respect, Your Excellency’s most huml. & Obedt Servant

James Lloyd

ALS, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters.

Lawyer and planter James Lloyd (c.1756–1830) resided at his estate of Farley in Kent County, Md., at this time. He married Elizabeth Tilghman in 1780, and they had one son and three daughters. After being in the state militia during the Revolutionary War, he served several terms in the Maryland legislature during the 1780s and 1790s, and he was in the U.S. Senate, 1798–1800.

1James Tilghman (1716–1793) wrote GW on 12 Aug. from Chester Town, Md., in order to recommend Lloyd, his son-in-law, for appointment as the surveyor for the port of Baltimore. He wrote: “I take the liberty of recommending him to your favour induced by the kind attentions you have been pleased to show to me and my family, which however I would not presume to do, if I was not well satisfied that Major Lloyd is a very inexceptionable character and one whose appointment would not discredit your Administration My only Objection to taking this Step is that it will add to the number of Applications and in that respect may possibly give you some trouble For I can truly say I would wish to avoid giving you the smallest degree of Embarrassment” (DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters). At least nineteen persons either sought or received recommendations for the vacant surveyor’s position (David Plunket to GW, 7 Aug. 1793, and note 1).

2In a letter to GW of 16 Aug., Lloyd withdrew his application because an “unforeseen” event made it “very inconvenient” for him to reside in Baltimore (DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters). For GW’s decision to appoint Daniel Delozier to the vacant position, see GW to Charles Carroll of Carrollton, 25 Aug. 1793.

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