George Washington Papers

To George Washington from James Madison, 12 February 1794

From James Madison

Feby 12. 1794

Mr Madison presents his respectful compliments to the President, and begs leave to lay before him the inclosed letters, on behalf of a candidate for a vacancy in the Custom-House Department in Virginia. Mr M. being a perfect stranger to the candidate can add no information whatever of his own.1 He knows Mr Maury well, and considers his recommendation as respectable.2


1On the reason for the vacancy in the position of customs collector for the District of Tappahannock, Va., see Hudson Muse to GW, 27 Jan., and n.3. The first of two enclosures sent by Madison was a brief letter from deputy collector Laurence Muse to Madison of 1 Feb. in which he asks for Madison’s “interest with the President in my favor, in the appointment of a Collector.” Muse points out that having “been imployed in that business from the Commencement of the Collection Law under the present Government ⟨I⟩ flatter myself I have now acquired a knowledge sufficient to do justice to the public, and individuals” (DLC:GW). See also Laurence Muse’s letter of application to GW of 1 February.

2Fredericksburg, Va., merchant Fontaine Maury wrote to Madison on 4 Feb.: “Having good reason to suppose that the Office of Collector at Tappahanock will soon be vacant, I have taken the Liberty to request you will do any thing which may be convenient to promote the Election of Mr Laurence Muse, who has long served with much reputation as a deputy in the above office, and is in all respects perfectly Qualified to do the Public every justice” (DLC:GW). On Laurence Muse’s appointment, see GW to U.S. Senate, 5 March.

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