George Washington Papers
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To George Washington from Oliver Wolcott, Jr., 11 July 1795

From Oliver Wolcott, Jr.

Treasury Departmt July 11th 1795.

The Secretary of The Treasury has the honor most respectfully to inform The President of the United States, that it appears by communications from the Commissioner of the Revenue, to be expedient that some person be appointed to superintend the Lighthouse establishment at Bald head, on Cape Fear in North Carolina.1

It appears to the Secretary to be advisable that this agency should be committed to James Read Collector of the customs for the District of Wilmington, who now superintends the Stakage in said District, and who is understood to have had some agency in the building of said Lighthouse.2 All which is respectfully submitted by

Olivr Wolcott Jr
Secy of the Treasy


1On 20 April, Tench Coxe wrote to Wolcott: “I shall also be glad to know to whom the Superintendence of the Light House on Cape Fear Island No. Carolina is to be committed; On this subject also I have heretofore communicated with the Secretary’s Office” (DNA: RG 26, Lighthouse Letters).

2Bartholomew Dandridge, Jr., notified Wolcott two days later, on 13 July: “the President agrees in the expediency of appointing a person to superintend the Lighthouse establishment at Bald head; and consents that this superintendance should be confided to James Read” (LB, DLC:GW). On 15 July, Coxe wrote Read: “The President of the United States has extended your appointment of Superintendent of the stakeage, to the superintendence of the Light House & other establishments, for the direction of shipping from Cape Fear Island, to the Town of Wilmington.” This was, Coxe explained in a letter of that date to George Hooper, “the mode of Superintending Light Houses &cetera” that GW “originally adopted, that is by means of the Collectors of the customs” (both letters DNA: RG 26, Lighthouse Letters).

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