George Washington Papers

To George Washington from James Manning, 2 June 1790

From James Manning

Providence [R.I.] June 2d 1790


I beg leave to congratulate your Excellency on the joyful Event, the adoption of the Constitution of the United States by the State of Rhode Island on Saturday last; and to recommend to your Notice Capt. Samuel Snow (Son of the Revd & venerable Joseph Snow of this Town) as a Candidate for the office of Surveyor of the Customs in the Port of Providence.1 He was esteemed a good officer in the service of this State during the late War: was liberally educated, & is a man of Industry & Principle; &, in my opinion, would with ability, fidelity, & exactness, discharge the duties of that office. Among other reasons to enforce his claim is that of a young and helpless family, with other dependants wholly indebted to his Industry for their support. He is viewed as second to none of the Applicants for that appointment, yet heard of by Sir Your Excellency’s Most obliged Most Humble Servt

James Manning


1Samuel Snow was the son of Joseph Snow, a popular New Light minister in Providence. The younger Snow served as an officer in the Rhode Island militia during the Revolution, reaching the rank of captain before resigning in September 1780 (Bartlett, R.I. Records, description begins John Russell Bartlett, ed. Records of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, in New England. 10 vols. Providence, 1856–65. description ends 9:234–35). After the war Snow apparently engaged in mercantile activities in Providence. Benjamin Huntington wrote to GW recommending Snow for the post of U.S. marshal, noting: “from the Acquaintan⟨ce⟩ I have with him which was in the way of Business I always found him a Man of honor and Good Conduct and think him Capable of Executing the Office of Marshal for the District of Rhode Island” (Huntington to GW, 7 June 1790, DLC:GW). Huntington enclosed a letter from Theodore Rogers, Zabdiel Rogers, and Samuel Woodbridge, soliciting Huntington’s assistance in obtaining the post of surveyor at Providence for Snow. The three described Snow “as a Gentleman of known Integrity and Ability and a man well Acquainted with Business” (Theodore Rogers et al. to Benjamin Huntington, 13 May 1790, DLC:GW). Snow was also recommended by Providence merchant Welcome Arnold, who wrote GW from Providence to “Recommend the Bearer Capt. Samuel Snow as a Man well qualified to do the duties of the Office of Surveyer for this district” (Arnold to GW, 10 June 1790, DLC:GW), and from David Howell, who wrote from Providence that Snow was “educated under my inspection in the College here” (David Howell “to all persons whom it may concern,” 7 June 1790, DLC:GW). Snow received no appointment from GW but was appointed U.S. consul at Canton in May 1798 (Senate Executive Journal description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America: From the commencement of the First, to the termination of the Nineteenth Congress. Vol. 1. Washington, D.C., 1828. description ends , 275).

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