George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Thomas Bee, 23 May 1790

From Thomas Bee

Columbia So. Carolina 23 May 1790

Dear Sir

The Death of Mr Drayton having caused a Vacancy in the Fœderal Court for this State, I am induced to Offer myself as a Candidate for the Office I requested Mr Izard and Major Butler on a former Occasion to mention my Name to your Excellency, but your absence from New York, prevented them doing so in time.1 The reason of my not writing to you then myself was that I apprehended an application through Friends would be more acceptable, I have since been informed otherwise, which is the cause of my troubling your Excellency now.

If you should think any Investigation necessary the Gentlemen above mentioned are fully informed on every Point, with every sentiment of respect and Esteem I am your Excellencys most Obt & very humble Servt

Tho. Bee


Thomas Bee (1739–1812), a South Carolina planter and lawyer, was a leader in the Revolutionary movement in South Carolina. He served in the legislature almost continuously from 1762 to 1790 and was a Federalist delegate to the South Carolina convention that ratified the Constitution in 1788. He also served as lieutenant governor, judge of the court of general sessions, and as a delegate to the state constitutional convention in 1790. GW appointed him judge of the district court of South Carolina on 11 June 1790; the appointment was confirmed on 14 June (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 2:79, 80). Bee held the post until his death (Bailey, Bio. Dir. of the S.C. Senate, description begins N. Louise Bailey et al., eds. Biographical Directory of the South Carolina Senate, 1776–1985. 3 vols. Columbia, S.C., 1986. description ends 1:120–22).

1William Drayton, appointed district court judge on 18 Nov. 1789, died 18 May 1790 (Bio. Dir. of the S.C. House of Representatives, description begins Joan Schreiner Reynolds Faunt et al., eds. Biographical Directory of the South Carolina House of Representatives. 4 vols. Columbia, S.C., 1974–84. description ends 2:205–7). GW was absent from New York on his tour of New England immediately before appointing Drayton to the bench.

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