From George Leonard
July 24th 1789
I beg Leave to recommend for the office of Collectors in the County of Bristol and State of Massachusetts—which County is part of the district I represent—The Following Persons Edward Pope Esqr. for the Port of New Bedford and Hodijah Baylies Esqr. for the Port of Dighton.1
I am well acquainted with those Gentlemen and believe them to be well qualified to discharge the duties of that Office and that they will be agreable to the People in General. I have the Honour to be with very great Respects your most Obedient & Humble servant
George Leonard (1729–1819), a native of Norton, Mass., graduated from Harvard in 1748 and held a number of judicial posts in his native state before he was elected to represent Massachusetts in the First and Fourth Congresses.
1. Edward Pope (c.1739–1818) served as a colonel in the Massachusetts militia from 1776 to 1778 and as a representative for Dartmouth to the General Court in 1776 and 1778–81. After the war he was naval officer for Dartmouth, continuing in the post after the town was incorporated into New Bedford in 1787. Hodijah Baylies (1756–1842) was an aide-de-camp to Benjamin Lincoln in 1777. Captured at the fall of Charleston, he remained a prisoner of the British for some months. In 1782 and 1783 he was an aide-de-camp to GW. When the customs service was organized in August 1789, GW appointed Pope collector for New Bedford and Baylies to the same position in Dighton (DHFC, 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 2:14).