George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Alexander White, 1789

From Alexander White


General Edward Stevens—solicits an appointment in the Customs particularly the District of Norfolk He is a Gentleman in high repute in his Country both as a Citizen and a Soldier.1

Col: Will. Heth—has I expect explained to your Excellency his particular Views—I have known him from his Infancy. There is not a man in whom I would more readily confide for the discharge of any Office he may undertake—As a Soldier he is probably better known to Your Excellency than to me, though his early exertions may have escaped your notice or your Memory—I know him to be an excellent Accountant, an affectionate and dutiful Son to his indigent Parents notwithstanding his circumstances are narrow and he has a young Wife and an increasing Family.2

Col: Gustavus Wallace is desirous of a Collectors Place—particularly that of Rappohannock—I have but a very general acquaintance with him He was an Officer in the Army, from that circumstance, and from what I know of his Connections I presume he is not unknown to Your Excellency.3

Hudson Muse, is desirous of the same Office He is an entire Stranger to me—but has been long in that Office, and is recommended by Gentlemen on whom I can depend, as a faithful diligent able man in his office, and a good Citizen.4

Col: Christian Febiger—has explained to Your Excellency his particular Views—I knew him well early in the War. he was much esteemed among us at that time, and I understand has supported a good character both as a Soldier and a Citizen ever since.5

Elias Langham—is desirous of being appointed a Commissary of Military Stores—He married a young Lady in my Neighbourhood, and lived there sometime, I believe his character is good—and I find he has given satisfaction in his present Office at the Point of Fork.6

Frederick Phile—solicits the Appointment of Naval Officer of the Port of Philadelphia He has been twelve years in that Office, and brings ample Testimonials of his faithful discharge of the Duties of his Office, and of his general Good Character—I am not personally acquainted with him.7

Joseph Shallcross—solicits the Appointment of Collector of the Customs at Wilmington. He is also a Stranger to me, but from the character given him by those on whom I can rely—I have no doubt of his fitness for the Office, and of his general good character.8

ALS, DLC:GW. This letter is undated, but was probably written in the summer of 1789.

1Edward Stevens (1745–1820), who had served in the Virginia legislature since 1779, was in search of public employment in the summer of 1789. See Conversation with Samuel Griffin, 9 July 1789. He also was recommended to GW by John Page, 14 July 1789.

2For William Heth’s application for office, see his letter to GW, 23 April 1789.

3Gustavus Brown Wallace had applied for the Rappahannock collector’s post on 28 Mar. 1789. See his letter of that date to GW. The position went to Hudson Muse rather than Wallace.

4For Muse’s application for office, see his letter to GW, 20 Mar. 1789.

5Christian Febiger applied to GW for “some Appointment in the Custom house Department” in a letter of 6 May 1789.

6In 1786 Elias Langham was appointed by the Virginia council of state as commissary of military stores and stationed at Point of Fork. He retained his post under the state at least as late as October 1791. In May 1791 he also was appointed justice of the peace for Fluvanna County (Journals of the Council of State of Virginia, description begins H. R. McIlwaine et al., eds. Journals of the Council of the State of Virginia. 5 vols. Richmond, 1931–82. description ends 4:10, 5:289,316).

7For Frederick Phile’s application for office, see his letter to GW, 7 Mar. 1789.

8George Gilpin applied for a post for Joseph Shallcross on 28 Mar. 1789. See his letter to GW of that date.

Index Entries