George Washington Papers
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To George Washington from Henry Knox, 21 February 1796

From Henry Knox

Boston 21 February 1796.

My dear sir

I have been requested by several respectable characters in this place, to name for your consideraton Christopher Gore Esqr. of this vicinity as a suitable character for one of the Commissioners to repair to Great Britain in pursuance of the late treaty. I before took the liberty of suggesting his name upon another occasion, and to express my conviction, of his fitness, for high confidential public employment. He has evinced his abilities by several well written peices in favor of the government. His fortune is handsome. His manners remarkably engaging, and his integrity unquestionable. He has no children and therefore would I am well persuaded have no objection to the mission alluded to.1

Mr Parsons of Newbury port has also been suggested as a very suitable character to adjust matters within the United States in conformity to the treaty. His knowledge and talents are of the first class.2

I have also been requested to name Mr Sullivan the Attorney General of this State as a Commissioner for ascertaining the St Croix river. He has written a history of the district of Maine in which this subject is somewhat discussed.3

I have named these Gentlemen with less diffidence than I otherwise should have done had I not known your desire of swelling your list of candidates with characters who may be thought even by others, of possessing the requisite qualities.

Mrs Knox unites with me in presenting ourselves affectionately to your and Mrs Washingtons remembrance. And I am my dear sir with perfect respect and attachmt Your obedient Servant

H. Knox

ALS, DLC:GW; ADf, NNGL: Knox Papers.

1Knox is recommending the appointment of Christopher Gore to the commission authorized by Article VII of the Jay Treaty to settle the claims of U.S. merchants for damages arising from the capture of their ships by vessels acting under British authority (Miller, Treaties, description begins Hunter Miller, ed. Treaties and Other International Acts of the United States of America. Vol. 2, 1776-1818. Washington, D.C., 1931. description ends 252–53). Knox had recommended Gore for U.S. attorney general in his letter to GW of 2 Sept. 1795. Gore’s writings (referred to by name in the draft) were the “Manlius” and “Federalist” essays published in the Boston Columbian Centinel in 1794 and 1795 (see n.4 to Knox’s letter of 2 Sept.).

2Theophilus Parsons (1750–1813) was a Newburyport, Mass., lawyer who had been influential in the drafting of the Massachusetts constitution. He was a delegate to the convention that ratified the U.S. Constitution and served from 1787 to 1791 in the Massachusetts legislature. He later became chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court. Knox is recommending Parson’s appointment to the commission set up by Article VI of the Jay Treaty to decide on the debt claims of British merchants (Miller, Treaties, description begins Hunter Miller, ed. Treaties and Other International Acts of the United States of America. Vol. 2, 1776-1818. Washington, D.C., 1931. description ends 249–51). This recommendation was written at the end of Knox’s draft.

3Knox is recommending the appointment of James Sullivan to the boundary commission created by Article V of the Jay Treaty (Miller, Treaties, description begins Hunter Miller, ed. Treaties and Other International Acts of the United States of America. Vol. 2, 1776-1818. Washington, D.C., 1931. description ends 249). Sullivan’s The History of the District of Maine was published at Boston in 1795.

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