George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Francis Willis, 3 April 1789

From Francis Willis

Winchester [Va.] April 3d 1789


With the utmost defference and respect I beg leave to inform your excellency, that I have notified by letter the members of senate from the state of Georgia that I offer for the appointment of collector of the port of Savannah, what may be the rule established by Congress for the appointment of officers in the different departments is yet uncertain, if the mode adopted should confine it to the President alone I take the liberty of soliciting your excellencies favor provided your excellency should think there will be no impropriety in so doing. The person who fills that office I can not possibly know having left the State before the appointments for the present year but if the one was continued who was in office for the last year I have reasons to suppose he would not be approved of by Congress; this suggestion probably may receive some light by an appeal to the members from that State.1 I have the honor to be with the highest respect and reguard your Excellencies most Obedient Servt

Frans Willis


Francis Willis (1745–1829) was born in Frederick County, Va., and served during the Revolution as a captain and a colonel from 1777 to 1778. In 1784 he moved to Georgia where he was elected to represent that state in the Second Congress.

1For the competition over the Savannah customs posts, see Lachlan McIntosh to GW, 14 Feb. 1789, n.4. Willis is referring to the criticism of the incumbent Reuben Wilkinson (ibid.). Benjamin Fishbourn, GW’s appointee to the office, also encountered the opposition of the Senate. See GW to Fishbourn, 23 Dec. 1788, and GW to the Senate, 7 Aug. 1789.

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