George Washington Papers

To George Washington from James Montgomery, 23 September 1796

Phila Sepr 23rd 1796


After apologizing to your Excellency for intruding on that Time which at every Period is of such Consequence to your Country and more especially so at this Particular One I beg leave to Lay before you the Unmerited Treatment I have met with.

I can with the Boldness of Truth appeal to my Early my Unabated Attachment to the Cause I have risqued both Life and Property and have been so Unfortunate as to lose a great Part of the latter.

Your Excellency’s Honoured me with a Commission for a Cutter which I accepted of with the Hope of Rising may I say to what I merited in that Hope I was disappointed My Health, was so materially injured by a close application to my Duty in the Cutter that I was not so Fit for any other Service as I had been and it became of Consequence to me to keep in the Vessell for the support of a very large Family the Vessell was sold another is now on the stocks this I was informed of on my going out after a Fitt of Illness the relicks of the violent Colds I had Caught I immediately applied to the Secretary of the Treasury (The Copies I inclose for your Excellency’s inspection) together with his answers and my own to which I have received none a person is employed to superintend the Building of that Vessell I am to Command I leave to your Excellency’s own Feelings and never failing Sense of Justice what must be the Acute Sensations of a Man who has ever rigidly discharged every the most minute Duties of His Station and I am very Confident of Redress I should suppose were it Possible such an Event could happen to a Man who has sacredly if I may use the Term discharged his Duty that it was intended to touch my Commission but Happy and secure in the Certainty that rests with yourself only and equally Certain the Name of Washington will never be tarnished by an unjust Action I dismiss the fugitive Idea, and rest perfectly secure of defeating those arts that originate in private picque very sure that all the Officers of Government are alike open to Confidence or Censure as they merit I rest my Cause with implicit Confidence on that Justice which has ever Distinguished your Excellency and am with the most perfect Respect your Excellency’s most Devoted and most Obedient Humble Servant

James Montgomery

DNA: RG 59—ML—Miscellaneous Letters.


17-20 September 1796 Sepr 17th 1796


I have this moment been informed the Cutter is Begun and am very much surprised I have not been called upon to attend to Her but as I am very Certain this Omission lies with the Collector and as I look upon it as an Insult I am no ways deserving of I do myself the Honour to apply to you both for Redress and to receive Official Orders to attend to my Duty I have been Confined with a severe Fit of Illness but am now so far recovered as to be able to [   ] but for your directions to superintend the Vessell I beg leave to apologize for sending at this Hour but the affair appears so extraordinary that I take the earliest method of applying to you and am with the highest Sentiments of Respect your most obedient Humble Servant

James Montgomery

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