George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Glover, 24 February 1790

From John Glover


Dear GeneralMarblehead [Mass.] Feby 24 1790

when I had the pleasure of spending a Little Time with you in Boston, I mentiond my particular Circumstances; the Loss of property, in pursueing the fishing business since peace, took place, to the amount of twenty five hundred pounds at least; and my wishes to return again to Some public employment, but as there did not appear to be any opening at that Time, our Conversation ceased on the Subject.

By report from the Secretary of the Treasury, I cannot but hope if it Should pass, I might find imploy as an inspector of the revenue, for the District in my neighbourhood.1

If there should be an appointment, of Such an officer, will, your Excellency, permit me, to offer my Self as a Candidate, and if my pretentions to enjoy the office Should be found equal, to any others, that I might be indulged with a Commission, if in your Excellencys opinion it Should on finishing the Law, be Such an one, as I could hold with honor to my Self, & with advantage to the publice—I am Dear General with every Consideration & respect your Excellencys Obdt Hbl. Sert

Jno. Glover

P.S. Should the secretarys report, not be accepted, no inspectors will be appointed—any thing else your Excellency may think my abillities equal to will be acceptable.


After his service during the early years of the American Revolution in command of the Marblehead mariners and later with the Continental army, John Glover (1732–1797) retired from the army in 1782 because of ill health and returned to Marblehead where he served as a selectman, as a member of the Massachusetts Ratifying Convention, and as a representative to the Massachusetts General Court. On 15 July 1790 Glover again wrote to GW from Marblehead about the possibility of employment: “I took the liberty to write your Excellency of the 24th of February, last, when I flattered myself, by a report from the Secretary of the Treasury, I might find employ as an Inspector of the Revenue for the District in my Neighborhood, at the same time observed, that should the Secretary’s report not be accepted; any thing else your Excellency might think my Abilities equal to would be acceptable.

“Yesterday God, in his Providence was pleased to remove, by Death, Mr Richard Harris, the Collector of Impost, for the port of Marblehead. That Office being now vacant, will your Excellency permit me to offer myself a Candidate, and if my pretentions to enjoy it Should be found equal to any others that may apply, that I might be indulged with a Commission, which should I be so fortunate as to obtain your Excellency may, with the greatest confidence, rest assured that the strictest Fidelity & Punctuality, in the Duties of the Office, shall be observed, and the favor greatfully acknoledged” (DLC:GW). Glover’s application was supported by a brief letter from John Langdon to GW, referring to Glover as “a worthy honest man” (DLC:GW). Glover did not succeed Harris as collector at Marblehead, the appointment going instead to Samuel Russell Gerry (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 2:84).

1Glover is referring to Hamilton’s “Report Relative to a Provision for the Support of Public Credit,” presented to the House of Representatives on 14 Jan. 1790 (Syrett, Hamilton Papers, description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends 6:51–181). In his report Hamilton had suggested that the president appoint inspectors of the revenue to superintend collection of the duties on distilled spirits (ibid., 139–40).

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