George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Alexander Contee Hanson, 9 September 1793

From Alexander Contee Hanson

Annapolis Septr 9, 1793


Having been informed, that the place of collector for the port of Annapolis will shortly be vacant, by the resignation of Mr Davidson, I take the liberty of recommending Mr Burton Whetcroft, as his successor.1 The very high opinion I entertain of this gentlemans merit has prompted me to advise him to become a candidate for an office, which will be compatible with his present employment of assistant, a principal clerk to the register of the court of chancery in Maryland, which he has held for more than eight years. During a great part of that time, he has conducted the whole business of the office, with perfect ability, with an attention and assiduity, which I have never known to be excelled, and with the approbation of all, with whom he has been concerned. Permit me, Sir, to assure you, that, in my opinion, his qualifications, behaviour, and reputation, are such, as might amply justify his appointment to a much higher office, than the one he sollicits; and that many of the most respectable citizens of Annapolis would be gratified by his success.

I cannot, Sir, forbear to add a circumstance, which, I am persuaded, will plead in his behalf. Altho’ his income might be supposed hardly adequate for himself, an amiable wife, and an infant family,2 he has, for a considerable time past, entirely maintained both his aged parents, who have been reduced, solely by misfortune, from a comfortable and decent situation, to rely on his filial gratitude and affection. I have the honour to be, Sir, with the most profound veneration Your obedient Servant,

A.C. Hanson

ALS, DLC:GW. Hanson was chancellor of Maryland.

1Burton Whetcroft (c.1753–1822) was clerk of the Maryland Court of Appeals, 1795–1805, and mayor of Annapolis, 1807–8, 1809–10. On 23 Nov., GW wrote a commission for Robert Denny as collector of Annapolis, but Denny declined the appointment. GW then filled the post with John Randall (JPP description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed. The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797. Charlottesville, Va., 1981. description ends , 257; GW to U.S. Senate, 27 Dec.).

2Elizabeth Knapp (c.1759–1809) married Whetcroft in 1789; their only daughter, Frances E. Whetcroft, married Satterlee Clark in 1810.

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