George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Stephen Sewall, 1 August 1789

From Stephen Sewall

Marblehead [Mass.]

May it please your ExcellencyAugust 1st 1789.

I take the liberty of detaining your Excellency a moment from more important Concerns—to solicit the honour of an appointment to the Collectors Office for this place.

I have been appointed by the Legislature of this State—to the Naval Office here—for several successive Years—and I still continue in it—in what manner I have discharg’d the duties of my Office your Excellency will Judge—from that circumstance—together with the purport of Letters, from some of the most respectable Gentlemen in Trade here, to some of the honourable Members in Congress, which I presume to hope have reach’d your Excellency’s ear.

I hope this application will not be consider’d by your Excellency as intrusive—And should your Excellency think proper to honour me with the appointment—I shall be under the double obligation of gratitude & duty, to discharge the Trust with diligence & fidelity. I am with sentiments of highest respect & duty Sir Your Excellency’s most obedient & humble Servant

Stephen Sewall


Stephen Sewall served as a captain in Lee’s Additional Continental Regiment in March 1777 and resigned in July 1778. In August 1778 he became an aide-de-camp to Gen. John Glover. Sewall was recommended for a government post by Benjamin Goodhue (see Goodhue to GW, 30 June 1789). When the customs posts were established in August 1789, Richard Harris rather than Sewall was named to the post at Marblehead (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 2:19).

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