George Washington Papers

To George Washington from George Gilpin, 28 March 1789

From George Gilpin

Alexandria March 28th 1789

Dear sir.

The Gentleman who will hand this to you is Mr Joseph Shallcross of Wilmington a perticular freind and acquintance of mine I have taken the liberty to introduce him to you.1

Mr Shallcross has a favor to ask of you there are a great number of candidates for the Navel Office under the New Government for the district of New Castle, this office has been kept at New castle hitherto although almost all the business has been done in Wilmington and the Vessels belong there—the Gentlemen of Wilmington think the office aught to be kept where the greater part of the business is done, Mr Shallcross is I believe well qualified for this office and will present to you a Very respectable recommendation from the Gentlemen of his Neighbour hood, any favor done Mr Shallcross will be an Obligation confer’d on me, and permit me to Say that my best wishes attend you in the great and Ardious business you are about to engage in. I am Sir your most Obedient Hume Servt

George Gilpin


1Joseph Shallcross, a Quaker merchant in Wilmington, Del., had signed a congratulatory message to GW from the city’s businessmen in December 1783 in his capacity as town clerk (Shallcross to GW, 16 Dec. 1783, DLC:GW). In a letter of 14 April 1789 Henry Hollingsworth of Elkton, Md., supporting Shallcross’s application, described him as “a Gentleman long known in the Mercantile line as a Gentleman of Candour Family and Character and. . . desirous of Serving. . . as Collector of the Customs, your Excellency will no doubt be a little Astonished that Mr Shallcross should think of so feeble a person and of so Slight an acquaintance with your Excellency and the more so that I should presume to attempt to recommend a Gentleman at any rate, (and more especially out of the State I live in) yet gratitude emboldens me to inform your Excellency that this same Mr Joseph Shallcross is the Gentleman to whom I was beholden for the Inteligence obtained (at a very hazardous risque of his life) of the Strength of Situation and Circumstance of the Enemy in Wilmington as per your Excellencys letter of the 6th of October 1777 when I had the Honor of your Excellencys Commands on that Service, by which I conceive your Excellency was enabled to dislodge them from that very advantageous post” (DLC:GW).

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