George Washington Papers

Benjamin Hawkins to Tobias Lear, 26 November 1792

Benjamin Hawkins to Tobias Lear

No. 37

N. Carolina 26 novr 1792

On the same day you applied to me, I had a conference wth Mr Johnston and the representatives from N. Carolina1 the result of which this day is that Thomas Overton of More County or Henry Waters of [New] Hanover is equal to the appointment contemplated by the President.

Overton was I believe of the rank of Major in the line of the late Army, and of the State of Virginia, he removed into N. Carolina since the termination of the War, and has resided in the County where he now is in the district of Fayette, he is Lt Colo. Commandant of the cavalry of that district, and has been a member of the Legislature, and has supported a very fair and upright character.2

Mr Waters is a native of North Carolina, of respectable connections, he is a young man of probity, the only advantage he has over Mr Overton is his being a native, but perhaps that is more than counterbalanced by the others being publickly known, and for some years respected in that part of the Country.3 I am with sincere regard sir, yr.ob. servt

Benjamin Hawkins


1Lear’s letter to North Carolina senator Benjamin Hawkins has not been identified. The other senator from North Carolina was Samuel Johnston, and the current congressmen were John Baptista Ashe, William Barry Grove, Nathaniel Macon, John Steele, and Hugh Williamson.

2Thomas Overton (1753–1824), a native of Virginia, began his Revolutionary War career as a second lieutenant in the 9th Virginia Regiment in 1776 and served to the end of war, rising to the rank of captain in the 4th Continental Dragoons. He moved to Moore County in the Fayette district, N.C., shortly after the war and soon became a leading citizen of the county, serving five terms in the state senate, 1787–90 and 1792. Overton was appointed a colonel in the county militia in 1788. GW sent Overton’s nomination for “Inspector of the Revenue for Survey No. 1 in the District of North Carolina” to the U.S. Senate on 28 Jan. 1793.

3Hawkins may be referring to Henry Hyrne Waters, who was born c.1770 in Wilmington, North Carolina.

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