George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Oliver Wolcott, Jr., 18 February 1795

From Oliver Wolcott, Jr.

Treasy Dept Feby 18. 1795.

The Secretary of the Treasury has the honor respectfully to submit to The President of the United States, certain documents, by which it appears that John Muir Collector for the District of Vienna in Maryland, has neglected his duty in failing to collect (or to institute in season, suits for the recovery of) bonds for duties due to the United States.1

This Collector has moreover failed to pay certain drafts drawn on him by the Treasurer of the United States, for monies appearing by returns to the Treasury to be on hand, and in this respect he is found to be in the same predicament as the Collectors of York & Tappahannock, who were superseded.2

The Secretary is firmly of opinion that the good of the public service requires that this officer should be displaced, & from enquiries which he has made of Mister Murray, of the House of Representatives, he is induced to believe that James Frazier is a fit character to succeed to the office.3 All which is most respectfully submitted.

Olivr Wolcott jr
Secy of the Treasy


1The enclosed documents have not been identified.

2For discussion of treasury drafts on Muir, see Alexander Hamilton to George Gale, 20 Dec. 1794 (Hamilton Papers description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends , 17:451–52). About the dismissal of Abraham Archer, collector at Yorktown, Va., see Hamilton to GW, 16 June 1794, and n.3 to that document; for the dismissal of Hudson Muse, collector at Tappahannock, Va., see Muse to GW, 27 Jan. 1794, and n.3 to that document, and Hamilton to GW, 10 Feb. 1794.

3On this date GW sent to the Senate a nomination of James Frazier as collector and inspector of the revenue for the District of Vienna, “vice John Muir, superceded” (LS, DNA: RG 46, Third Congress, 1793–95, Senate Records of Executive Proceedings, President’s Messages—Executive Nominations; LB, DLC:GW). The Senate approved the nomination on 20 Feb., and GW signed Frazier’s commissions on 21 Feb. (Senate Executive Journal description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America: From the commencement of the First, to the termination of the Nineteenth Congress. Vol. 1. Washington, D.C., 1828. description ends , 172; JPP description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed. The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797. Charlottesville, Va., 1981. description ends , 326).

James Frazier retained this post until he resigned in January 1805, but he had difficulties with his accounts while collector, and after his resignation, he was imprisoned for a time as an insolvent debtor (Jefferson Papers description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. 40 vols. to date. Princeton, N.J., 1950—. description ends , 34:281; Frazier to [Albert Gallatin], 15 Oct. 1804, and Frazier to James Madison, 3 Jan. 1805, DNA: RG 59, Letters of Application and Recommendation during the Administration of Thomas Jefferson; report of Robert Wright, 2 July 1812, ASP description begins Walter Lowrie et al., eds. American State Papers. Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States. 38 vols. Washington, D.C., Gales and Seaton, 1832–61. description ends , Finance, 2:570).

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