George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Benjamin Goodhue, 2 June 1789

From Benjamin Goodhue

New York June 2d 1789

Mr Goodhue from Massachusetts, would wish respectfully to recommend to the President of the United States, as a proper person for the collection of the Revenue at the port of Glocester in that State, if any such should be appointed, Epes Sargent esqre1 with whom he has had a long and intimate acquaintance and from that acquaintance and living in his neighbourhood, can venture in the fullest manner to declare him to be a person of education and abilities and in his opinion every way qualified to discharge the duties of such an Office with honour & fidelity.


Benjamin Goodhue (1748–1814), a native of Salem, Mass., and a Harvard graduate, served in the Massachusetts house of representatives from 1780 to 1782 and in the state senate from 1786 to 1788. Elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1789, he remained in Congress until he resigned in 1796 to fill the Senate vacancy caused by George Cabot’s resignation.

1Epes Sargent (1748–1822), the son of a Gloucester, Mass., shipowner, graduated from Harvard in the same class as Goodhue in 1766. During the Revolution Sargent engaged in a number of successful privateering ventures with his father’s ships. In 1818 Sargent moved from Gloucester to Roxbury, opened a mercantile business in Boston, and served as president of the Suffolk Insurance Company. In August 1789 GW appointed him collector for the port of Gloucester and on 30 Sept. Sargent wrote: “The appointment I had the honour to receive from you, requires more than the acknowledgement of office; the confidence you repose in me more flattering than the largest emoluments, I trust will ever keep my attention alive to the obedience of your commands. . . . In the loud acclaim of millions, permitt the feeble voice of an obscure individual to join in hailing you Deliverer of your Country: to the glory that encircles you as her defender in war, you add the more arduous exertions to improve that Country in the arts of peace, in mild and equal laws and polished manners” (DNA:PCC, item 78).

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