George Washington Papers

To George Washington from James Gilliland, 31 May 1789

From James Gilliland

New York May 31st 1789

The Petition of James Gilliland one of the Sworn Gaugers of the City of New York Humbly Sheweth

That your Petitioner had the Honor of bearing a Commission under your Command during the course of the late war, at the Conclusion of which he had the honor to be appointed in this City a Custom-House and City Gauger, the duties of which Office he has executed with propriety diligence & Integrity.

That your Petitioner humbly begs leave to inform, that he has a large Family to support therefore prays to be continued in the same Office under the Federal Government, Or be appointed one of the land or Tide Waiters whereby he may be enabled to maintain his Wife and eleven Children, most of whom are helpless. And your Petitioner as in duty bound will ever pray &c.

Jas Gilliland

ALS, DNA:PCC, item 59.

James Gilliland served as a 2d lieutenant in Alexander Hamilton’s New York artillery company until late 1776 when “from domestic inconveniences, and other motives, resigned his Commission” (Hamilton to the Convention of the Representatives of the State of New-York, 6 Mar. 1777, in Syrett, Hamilton Papers, description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends 1:199–201). Gilliland subsequently served as a captain in the Corps of Sappers and Miners until resigning on 9 Oct. 1782. The 1789 New York city directory lists him as a “gauger” living near the Exchange.

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