George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Samuel Beebee, 4 June 1789

From Samuel Beebee

New York June 4th 1789

The petition of Samuel Beebee of the City of New York humbly sheweth

That your Petitioner being early attached to the Independance of America and haveing suffered considerable losses by this attachment, from fire and being twice plundered by the Enemy; and by losses at Sea in the time of the War, risking his property for the good of his Country; and since the peace by accidental misfortunes is reduced to necessitous circumstances and cut off from a present prospect of supporting his family with the necessaries of life; which induces him to prefer this Petition to you Sir: requesting that you will nominate him as Clerk to some of the Public Offices that is now to be constituted under the new Government that he may be enabled to supply the necessitous wants of his family.

Your petitioner views the President in the light of a Parent to this country who in distributing favours will have respect to the wants of his children especially where merit is equal1—and under these impressions shall, Ever pray

Samuel Beebee


Samuel Beebee (Bibby) is listed in the New York city directory for 1789 as a shopkeeper living at 4 William Street. He may be the same Samuel Beebee (Bebee) who presented a claim to Congress 5 Feb. 1776 for 3 shillings damage to his house at Stonington, Long Point, incurred during an attack on 30 Aug. 1775 by Captain Wallace of the Rafe (DNA:PCC, item 66).

1In a letter to GW, 6 June 1789, Alexander MacWhorter, a New Jersey clergyman who had served as chaplain to Henry Knox’s artillery brigade during the Revolution, wrote: “I take the liberty of accompanying Mr Beebees petition, who is a son in law of mine, with a few lines. He has been all the unfortunate man hinted at in his petition, and besides, I myself suffered the loss of my little all in the calamities of the war, having with the first embarked in the American cause in opposition to British measures, and perhaps was too zealous therein for my sphere in life. But however this may be, whether by zeal, or being sent by Congress to North Carolina for political purposes in the beginning of 1776, or by living in Newark in the neighbourhood of this city, or from whatever other cause the same may have happened, I became somehow unfortunably very obnoxious to the enemy, and I and my family were long exiled from home and from our living. I never relaxed in my faithf⟨ul⟩ endeavours to encourage my people and others in their struggles for what I believed to be their just rights, yet I have hereby been disabled from helping my children to begin the world as might otherwise been reasonably expected; therefore, Sir, if Mr Beebee, who, I know to be an honest sober and endustrious man, and very capable of business (otherwise I should not solicite for him) could obtain an appointment, in any of the clerk’s offices, or another office, whereby he might be aided in the support of a necesitous and young and growing family . . .” (DLC:GW). Macwhorter also wrote to Alexander Hamilton, 9 Nov. 1789, soliciting the appointment of Beebee as a clerk in one of the Treasury offices (Syrett, Hamilton Papers, description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends 5:506).

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