George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Richard Bassett, 13 August 1793

From Richard Bassett

Dover [Del.] Augt 13th 93.

Dear Sir

Being informed of the recent Death of Coll Ballard the Surveyor of the Revenue for the Port of Baltimore.

I take the Liberty of renewing my Recommendation of my friend Mr Andrew Skinner Ennalls of the Town of Baltimore for that Office—having heretofore Sir had personal Conversation with you respecting the Merits and integriety of this Gentleman, it is Unnecessary for me to say any thing on that subject at Present, further than I think I may Venture to say, if his Application should Meet with your Approbation, he will prove himself in the Execution of the Office Worthy of the Appointment.1

I beg you Sir to present my best respects to Mrs Washington & family. I have the Honor to be with Perfect Consideration and every Sentiment of respect Your Most Sincere Humbe Servt

Richard Bassett


1At least nineteen individuals either applied, or received recommendations, for the vacant surveyor’s post (David Plunket to GW, 7 Aug. 1793, n.1). Bassett’s conversation with GW probably occurred in 1791 when Bassett, a former U.S. Senator from Delaware, attended the Third Session of the First Congress (6 Dec. 1790–3 Mar. 1791), at which time Ennalls first sought federal employment (Ennalls to GW, 18 Feb. 1791). For a failed attempt by Ennalls to become the Treasurer of the U.S. Mint, see John Francis Mercer to GW, 25 April 1792 and notes. Senator John Henry (1750–1798) wrote GW on 13 Aug. from Vienna, Md., to recommend Ennalls as “a Gentleman of respectable connections, of good morals and of the strictest Integrity. He is a warm friend to the constitution and in all other respects a reputable and worthy member of Society” (DLC:GW). Congressman William Vans Murray wrote from Cambridge, Md., on 13 Aug. 1793 to recommend Ennalls to GW as “a man of business, of unblemished moral & political character, & a very worthy man—His connections on this shore, of which he is a native, are very numerous & highly respectable—His connections in Baltimore are considerable. He has resided in that town I think ten or twelve years at least—& was engaged in merchandize” (DLC:GW). Despite these recommendations, Ennalls did not received the desired appointment (see Daniel Delozier to GW, 8 Aug. 1793, n.3).

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