George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Andrew G. Fraunces, 3 June 1789

From Andrew G. Fraunces

New York June 3d 1789.


I take the liberty of addressing you on a subject of much importance to myself and a young family that daily look up to me for support—this last together with the experience of your extreme goodness with respect to my father will I hope plead an excuse.

It is near four years since my appointment as Clerk to the Honorable Board of Treasury which Office I still fill and I hope with satisfaction to my employers.

The chief object of this letter is most humbly to request a continuance in the Department should a new Arrangement take place. It perhaps may be probable that an Assistant Secretary may be wanted to the Head or Heads of the Department; if it should be the case, I most humbly and earnestly intreat your Excellency’s kind patronage; having obtained a knowledge of the Business, and of the situation of the Records &c. I have nothing to offer in my behalf but a solemn promise of the strictest attention to the Duties of whatever station I have the honor to be placed on. Leaving all my hopes of preferment in the breast of your Excellency, I remain with every sentiment of gratitude and respect, Your most Obedient and devoted Humble Servant

Andw G. Fraunces.


Andrew Fraunces, son of GW’s steward Samuel Fraunces, was a clerk with the Board of Treasury from 1785 to 1789. Fraunces became principal clerk of the Treasury Department when it was created in September 1789 and held the position until early 1793 when he either resigned or was dismissed. In June of that year Fraunces’s charges that Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton had speculated in government securities led to a protracted controversy that became embroiled in the political squabbling between federalists and republicans in the mid–1790s. For the details of the affair, see Syrett, Hamilton Papers, description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends 11:571–72, and Boyd, Jefferson Papers, description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. 41 vols. to date. Princeton, N.J., 1950–. description ends 18:658–59, 687–88.

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