From Henry B. Baker
Philada Decr 28th 1792
You will observe by the enclosd Papers the unhappy Situation that I now labour under, and a recommendation from Colo. Henry Hollingsworth Major Edward Oldham Major Thomas M. Forman & other reputable Characters of Cecil County—I hope your honour will pardon the liberty I take, being urgd by the greatest necessity & a confidance of recieving a Small pecuniary assistance from your generous hand that was always ready to render relieve to a distressd Soldier1—My inability Please your honor denies me the opportunity of doing any thing in an active way towards the support of my distressd family to whom I must return nearly disconsalate—Should it not be in my Power to Procure an under Clerks place in some of the Public Offices in Town—I flater myself if your honor would be so kind as to oblige me with a line or two to Genl Knox and Colo. Hamilton, I should succeed in the application this circumstance Honord Sir, (as it is my last effort to support my dear Wife & suffering little Ones) would be recorded by kind Providance, a⟨s⟩ a fresh instance of your unlimited humanity for unhappy mortals who sufferd in the service of thier Country. In Duty bound Honord Sir, With Humble Submission I shall ever remain your most Obedt most Humb. Servt
Henry b. Baker
P.S. I hope your honor will oblige me with an answer by the Bearer Mr Sanders.2 H.b.B.
ALS, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters. The letter is docketed: “Mr J. H. Baker 29 Decr 1792.”
Henry Baker, who had served as a lieutenant in the Maryland line during the Revolutionary War, was listed under Back Creek Hundred in Cecil County in the 1790 census for Maryland as having in his household two white males under the age of 16 and two white females (see Heads of Families description begins Heads of Families at the First Census of the United States Taken in the Year 1790: Maryland. 1907. Reprint. Baltimore, 1965. description ends [Maryland], 40).
1. The enclosed papers and the recommendation have not been identified. Henry Hollingsworth (1737–1803), Edward Oldham (c.1756–1798), and Thomas Marsh Forman (1758–1845), all prominent residents of Cecil County and Revolutionary War veterans, served as representatives in the lower house of the Maryland assembly in 1792. Forman, an aide-de-camp to Lord Stirling in 1779, later commanded a militia brigade during the War of 1812.
2. Neither a letter from GW to Knox or Hamilton mentioning Baker nor a reply from GW to Baker has been found.