From James Mease McRea
Alexandria [Va.] 23d October 1793
In consequence of the Resignation of Colo. Hanson late Surveyor of this port I have been induced to offer myself a Candidate for that office.1 Not having the honor to be personally Known to you Sir, I have obtaind the recommendation of a few Gentlemen of this place, who are mostly of the longest standing, and who are I beleive mostly Known to you, in my favour, which I have the honor to inclose herewith2—If the time had been longer since I was made acquainted with Colo. Hansons resignation, I shoud have added many more Signatures to my recommendation—I have only to add in favor of my application, that I am a Young Man, and have a growing Family and That previous to the Adoption of our present Government, I held the office of Searcher, under the State Government for several years, the duties of which was very similar to those of the Surveyor—In my application for Recommendations I have not generally apply’d to persons engag’d in Active Commerce, conceiving that such as I have Chosen were more likely to appoint or recommend, a person whose Conduct in office woud, be guided by an attention to The Interst of the Government as well as the ease of Individuals. I have the Honour to be with the greatest respect Sir your Most Obedient and Very Humble Servant
James M. McRea
2. The enclosed document of this date, signed by Elisha C. Duke, Samuel Hanson, Charles Little, William Herbert, Robert Townsend Hooe, Robert Mease, Jesse Taylor, Daniel Roberdeau, James Craik, Roger West, and Richard Harrison, recommended McRea as “a gentleman” who “has been so fortunate by his Integrity and Industry as to have acquir’d the Esteem of his Fellow Citizens—And we think him well qualifyed to fill the office of Surveyor of this port in such a manner as to give general satisfaction” (DLC:GW). On 5 Nov. McRea wrote GW again to enclose a nearly identical recommendation signed by Charles Simms, Benjamin Dulany, and George Gilpin (DLC:GW). He did not, however, receive the appointment.