George Washington Papers

From George Washington to the United States Senate, 28 April 1790

To the United States Senate

United States [New York]

Gentlemen of the SenateApril 28th 1790

I nominate George Wray to be Collector of the port of Hampton in the State of Virginia in the place of Jacob Wray resigned:1 also John McCullough to be Surveyor of the port of Swansborough in the District of Wilmington and William Benson to be Surveyor of the port of Windsor in the District of Edenton, both in the State of North Carolina.

Go: Washington

LS, DNA: RG 46, First Congress, Records of Executive Proceedings, President’s Messages—Executive Nominations; LB, DLC:GW.

1This appointment was intended for George Wray, Jr., son of Jacob Wray, rather than Jacob Wray’s brother, George Wray. In a letter to GW of 12 May, George Wray, Jr., attempted to explain the confusion, noting that he had received “by Mr Thos Nelson a Commission under your signature for George Wray as Collector of this Port on the 11th Inst:, the direction was to Mr George Wray surveyor of the Port of Hampton, now sir as I have acted as my Fathers deputy & all the Offices of this port being vested in one of Collr I as the acting Officer in measuring the Vessels that were to be register’d or licenced in filling up the blanks generally put my name in the certificate of registry or licence as surveyor, therefore have taken the Commission upon myself, but as my Father omited in his letters of resignation when he mentioned me as his deputy to put junior to my name & as I have an Uncle of the same name at this port (although never employed as an Officer of the Customs) am in some doubt as to the intention & Commission, but shall continue to act as D: Collr untill farther information” (DLC:GW). Jacob Wray had resigned in March. See his letter to GW, 24 Mar. 1790. He wrote on 12 May that his son was continuing as the acting office at Hampton “till a small doubt may be got over by him. . . . Law matters now a days every minutia is so fine drawed & Extended as if for controversalist only” (DLC:GW). On 23 May Tobias Lear acknowleged George Wray’s letter and informed him that the president “directed me to inform you that you were the person appointed to fill that office upon the resignation of your father—and the addition of Junior not being inserted in the commission arose from not knowing that any other person of the same name resided at Hampton” (DLC:GW).

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