George Washington Papers

To George Washington from James Coor, 7 January 1790

From James Coor

New Bern [N.C.] January 7th 1790.


The state of North Carolina having Acceeded to the General Government of the United States I am told it becomes my duty to Acquaint You that I have acted at this place as a Naval Officer for port Beauford in this state for many years.

And also to mention that If agreeable to Your Excellency and the Authority which may have such Appointments I should wish to be Continued as Naval Officer for port Beauford which Comprehends the town of New Bern where almost all the trade of the port is transacted. I have the Honour to be Your Excellencys Most Obedt Servt

James Coor


James Coor (c.1737–c.1800), an architect, was probably a native of England. After his arrival in America he settled at first on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and then moved to New Bern, N.C., where he served as architect for a number of residential and public buildings and held a series of local offices. Coor was a member of the colonial legislature for three terms 1773–75, served on the New Bern council of safety and on the provincial council, and frequently represented Craven County in the state legislature. As his letter indicates, he also held the office of naval officer for Beaufort under the state government. Coor wrote GW again on 25 Jan. 1790, this time requesting an appointment as surveyor for Beaufort, “in case You should not think proper to Continue a Naval Officer at this place” (DLC:GW). When GW made the North Carolina customs appointments in February 1790, Coor received neither post.

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