George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Thomas Lowrey, 24 August 1789

From Thomas Lowrey

Alexandria New Jersey

May it Please Your ExcellencyAugust 24th 1789

Being Informed that the Appointment of Marshall to the Federal Court of the state of New Jersey is shortly to take place, and that it rests in the Grant of your Excellency. I beg leave to Approach you on that subject, and sollicit your Excellencys good Disposition toward me in the same, as I flatter myself the Personal knowledge you may retain of me, with the recommendation of my Freinds, may be quite sufficient to Convince your Excellency of my Merit and Abilities to fill Such an Important Office—with most unalterable Attachment for your Excellencys Person & Interest I am with all due respect & Esteem most Truly Your Excellencys Obedt Servant

Thomas Lowrey


Thomas Lowrey (1737–1806), an Irish-born merchant, was a colonel in the New Jersey militia during the Revolution and a member of the New Jersey provincial council of 1775. From 1791 to 1792 he was a member of the New Jersey legislature. On 10 Sept. John Witherspoon informed GW that he had “just signed with several others a Recommendation of Col. Lawrie to the office of Marshal of the fœderal Court in New Jersey when that Officer shall be appointed. This I did not only with sincerity but with some Zeal for his success. Therefor though I am sensible of the Impropriety of troubling your Excellency with Letters upon any triffling Subject yet as he was a faithful & active servant of the public during the War which is probably known to yurself I could not help signifying that I think he has a better claim in this Respect than any Competitor that I have heard named. And also considering that he has been rather late in applying and that others may have preoccupied a Number of Subscribers I think it best to assure your Excellency that I am persuaded from my knowlege of the State that no nomination to that Office would be more acceptable to the Inhabitants of New Jersey in general than that of Mr Lawrie” (DLC:GW). Lowrey again wrote to GW on 21 Sept. concerning the marshal’s post. “I should not at this time again trouble you on this subject, but understanding that your Excellency has been informed that I had given up my solicitation on certain conditions, which is not so & of which a degree of delicacy prevented my mentioning when I last had the pleasure of seing your Excellency. I would therefore beg leave to repeat my request” (DLC:GW). Lowrey was appointed marshal for the district of New Jersey on 26 Sept. (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 2:49).

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