George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Comfort Sage, 9 January 1795

From Comfort Sage

Middletown [Conn.] Jany 9th 1795


A Number of Merchants, have petitioned Congress during the present Session, for the Establishment of a port of Entry on Connecticut river, and I understand that the measure will take place.1

From this Consideration, I am induced to address the President, and Submit the propriety of my being appointed Collector for the proposed district.

As I relinquished Marcantile business on being made Naval officer for the port of Middletown under the Authority of this State, and as I now hold the Office of Surveyor and inspector under the united States,2 the regard which I owe to the Subsistance of myself, and family, with natural aversion of being Superceeded, will I preswade myself, Sufficintly apologize for the present application.

I have not chosen to recive recommendations from my marcantile aquaintance, as I wish in case of being honered with the requested office, to be free from any Particular obligations, to those, from whom the revenue is to be Collected, and in Surport of my request, beg liberty to refer to those Testimonials which recommended me for the Offices I now hold, and to recent recommendations with which I have been honered by Govr Huntington and Lieut. Govr Wolcot of this State3—I am with perfect Esteem & Suitable respect the Presidents Most Obedient & very Humble Servant

Comfort Sage


1No petition on this subject has been identified as received during this session of Congress. The House of Representatives received such a petition during the previous session, on 31 March 1794 (Journal of the House description begins The Journal of the House of Representatives: George Washington Administration 1789–1797. Edited by Martin P. Claussen. 9 vols. Wilmington, Del., 1977. description ends , 6:227). Congress established a port of entry at Middletown by an act of 26 Feb. 1795 (1 Stat. description begins Richard Peters, ed. The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America, from the Organization of the Government in 1789, to March 3, 1845 . . .. 8 vols. Boston, 1845-67. description ends 420–23).

2Sage was nominated and confirmed as surveyor at Middletown in February 1790 (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 , 38, 40).

3The only earlier testimonials in support of Sage on file with this document are letters from Samuel Huntington to GW of 19 Nov. 1789 and 1 Nov. 1794 (see Sage to GW, 31 July 1789, n.1, and Sage to GW, 12 May 1794, n.2). The letter in support of Sage from Oliver Wolcott, Sr. (1726–1797) has not been identified. Wolcott, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and a Revolutionary War militia officer, served as lieutenant governor of Connecticut from 1786 until 1796, when he succeeded to the governorship on Huntington’s death. Also on file are three letters in support of Sage dated 20 and 27 Jan. and 11 Feb. 1795, addressed to Connecticut senators and representatives, and one letter of 19 March addressed to Oliver Wolcott, Jr.

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