From Samuel Tucker
Boston, 1 October 1790. Understanding that a number of federal cutters will be built for the service of the United States, offers himself as a candidate to serve in one, if he is thought worthy after an inquiry into his character. “I serv’d through the whole of the Late War without any kind of Impeachment, as a Captain.”
Samuel Tucker (1747–1833), son of Marblehead, Mass., shipowner and tavern keeper Andrew Tucker, was commissioned captain of GW’s armed schooner Franklin in January 1776 and served as such until that spring, when he moved to the Hancock upon John Manley’s resignation and became unofficial commodore of GW’s fleet. He was commissioned a captain in the Continental Navy in March 1777. That December he assumed command of the Continental frigate Boston and conveyed John Adams to France in early 1778. After the Boston was surrendered at the fall of Charleston, Tucker commanded the privateer Thorn. He moved to Marblehead in August 1786 and purchased and operated the Gatchell Mills and grainery near Salem (see GW to Hancock, 9 Feb. 1776, n.3; Waters to GW, 30 Sept. 1790, source note; Sheppard, “Commodore Samuel Tucker,” description begins John H. Sheppard. “Commodore Samuel Tucker.” New-England Historical & Genealogical Register and Antiquarian Journal 26 (1872): 105–15. description ends 105–10, 112; Smith, Journals of Ashley Bowen, description begins Philip Chadwick Foster Smith, ed. The Journals of Ashley Bowen (1728–1813) of Marblehead. 2 vols. Boston, 1973. In Publications of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts Collections, vols. 44–45. description ends 45:682–83).
Tucker apparently also applied to Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, Henry Knox, and Thomas Jefferson in 1790 for the cutter command (see Tucker to Adams, 10 Nov. 1790, MHi: Adams Papers), but Hamilton replied he was too late. On 22 Nov. 1790 Hamilton wrote Benjamin Lincoln: “You mentioned in your letter of the 7th. of October a Captain Tucker. Is he equal or preferable to any who offers as first Mate, and will he serve in that Station under Capt. Williams?” (Syrett, Hamilton Papers, description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends 7:161–62). Lincoln replied on 4 Dec. 1790: “I hardlay think Captain Tucker would serve as a Lieutenant under Captain Williams as he is the senior officer. He wishes to command” (ibid., 193). Tucker did not receive any federal appointment and removed to Bristol in the District of Maine in 1792, which he later represented in the Massachusetts legislature (see Justin Winsor, Calendar of the Sparks Manuscripts in Harvard College Library, with an Appendix Showing Other Manuscripts [Cambridge, Mass., 1889], 86; Sheppard, “Commodore Samuel Tucker,” description begins John H. Sheppard. “Commodore Samuel Tucker.” New-England Historical & Genealogical Register and Antiquarian Journal 26 (1872): 105–15. description ends 113).