George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Lyles, 19 April 1789

From William Lyles

Shuters Hill 19th April 1789


This will be forwarded to your Excellency by Robert Young Esqr. of Nottingham, in Maryland, who has in view the appointment of the naval officers birth on patuxent river,1 his Situation and Knowledge of commercial transactions in every point of view, cannot fail to make him competent to such an appointment—Permit me therefore to assure your Excellency, that from a long acquaintance with Mr Young, I beleive him to be a man, of the strictest probity and integrity, and who I am well persuaded, would afford as much Satisfaction in that office, as any person that could be appointed.2 with assurances of the highest respect, I have the honor to be, your Excellencies most obt Servt

Wm Lyles


1Robert Young worked as a clerk in the counting house of Glassford & Company at Port Tobacco, Md., before setting up a mercantile establishment at Nottingham on the Patuxent River.

2Additional letters supporting Young’s application were sent to GW on 22 April by John Fitzgerald, Robert Townsend Hooe, and Dr. James Craik. The letters are all in DLC:GW. Craik noted that Young had applied for the position of naval officer on the Patuxent because “Merchants on that River intend applying to Congress to have the Office removed from the mouth of the River, to Nottingham where he resides; as being the most proper and convenient place.” The port of entry for the Patuxent was indeed changed to Nottingham, but the position of collector for the port went to George Biscoe. In August 1790 Young was named surveyor for Town Creek in Maryland but declined the appointment (De Pauw, Documentary History of the First Federal Congress, description begins Linda Grant De Pauw et al., eds. Documentary History of the First Federal Congress of the United States of America, March 4, 1789-March 3, 1791. 20 vols. to date. Baltimore, 1972–. description ends 2:15, 21, 38).

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