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age for certain purposes. In the first place, I have no patronage; in the next, neither your children nor my own would be sure of it if I had it. Beyond my own clear conviction of the public good I should belie the whole course of my public and private conduct and all the maxims of my life, if I should ever consider public authority entrusted to me to be made subservient to my private views, or those of my Family or Friends. The friendship between General Warren and me began and has continued on different principles.
No man knows better than I do that time will make curious. disclosures. I should not be astonished to find Incendiaries who fomented the discontents among the Insurgents of Massachusetts in a class the least suspected by the world. From my earliest youth I have been perfectly aware that the popular voice is fluctuating and that human affairs are full of vicissitudes. I have long contemplated in many very solemn hours the Injustice, Ingratitude, and Abuse experienced by myself, and it would be no surprise to me if my latter end should be as melancholy an instance of popular mutability as the annals of anarchy ever exhibited to the World. If this should happen to me or to others, it will wholly be owing to the ignorance of the great leaders in the Revolution of the nature of Government and their obstinacy in refusing to learn it. But enough and too much of this.
You have not informed me, Madam, what particular View you have for Mr. Warren or your sons. The Candidates are very numerous and equally importunate. I must say to you as to every one else, I am not the Person to apply to. The Constitution has wisely made the President the Judge in the first instance of the pretensions of all. Every application must be made to him and it ought to be made in writing. With my sincere respects to Mr. Warren I am, Madam, your Friend and humble Servant
MERCY WARREN TO HEnry Knox
PLIMOUTH, June 18, 1789
SIR, Though not used to make applications for office, I feel such a Confidence in your friendship as justifys my nameing to you at his request Major Henry Warren, who wishes (and perhaps no one is better intitled to expect it) the appointment of Collector of Customs for the port of Plimouth and Duxborough.
You, sir, are acquainted with mr. Winslow Warren, who thinks you will not forget him in the arrangement of the military department, but I believe you may not recollect the young Gentleman named above. General Lincoln is undoubtedly his friend. He was his first aid de camp in the successful expedition against the insurgents of the western counties. he will name him to the President, but knowing your intimacy and influence with him and your Friendship for their parents, my sons are led to suppose that your recommendation alone is sufficient.
I know not the regular mode of application for favours of this kind, but judge that an address for much greater matters than this might be made with success to the confidential Friend of General Washington. and I am mistaken indeed if your influence should ever be withheld when you have it in your power to serve any one of my Family.1
Though I have not before acknowledged your favour of March 29 I now thank you, sir, for your care of the inclosures, for the polite return, and for your invitation to make an excurssion to N. York. You judge right when you observe "that my zeal for the happiness of my Country and my belief in the Glory she may attain, were sufficient to induce me to wish to be an immediate spectator of the various agitations and projects of the off-set." when the wheels of a new Government destined for so rising and extensive an empire were set in motion.
It would have given me peculiar pleasure to have seen the entra public of the president and the just tribute of honour and
I William Watson was appointed Collector for the port of Plymouth in August, 1789, and continued in office until he was removed under President Jefferson and Henry Warren named in his place, November, 1803. Winslow Warren was commissioned a lieutenant in the Second Regiment, March, 1791.
Gratitude the united voice pays to real merit conspicuously marked with modesty and Dignity in our much revered Chief magistrate. But I can contemplate, perhaps with equal pleasure, beneath my own private roof the felicity this people may enjoy under the administration of a Man made by Heaven to Conduct War and revolution with Glory to his Country: to sit down in peace with Honour and eclat to himself: and peculiarly blessed with the happy tallent of uniting the affections of mankind, we now behold him to the pride and admiration of the present and doubtless to the Wonder of future Generations, at the head of our civil police with the hearts of all parties in his hand and the blessings of the whole Continent on his head. Heaven grant that he may be continued to Govern the united states in the untryed path of infant empire and untrodden systems with the same just and universal applause He acquired in the field when Gloriously leading the armies of America to Victory, Freedom and independence....
NEW YORK, 9 July, 1789
MADAM, -Two posts past I had the pleasure to receive the favor of your letter dated the 18th of June.
You judge truly, Madam, in thinking I should derive satisfaction in serving any of your family. All, however, that I do at present is to advise the mode of proceeding most likely to effect the object desired.
As the president has the nomination to all offices, all applications should be made to him in writing. It will, therefore, be necessary that Major H. Warren should immediately write to the President stating this request. It would be proper that his letter be accompanied by vouchers of his character and fitness for the office. Genl. Lincoln and Mr. Bowdoin would be good signers to this paper. Were the merchants and principal people also of Plymouth and Duxborough to sign another declaration of their
HENRY KNOX TO MERCY WARREN
desire of his filling the office, it would be a still firmer support to his request.
As the president is decided to make his nominations on the highest principles of impartiality, those who can produce to him the best evidence of their qualifications for the offices for which they are candidates, and also of their being acceptable to the community, will undoubtedly receive his support.
As the military establishment will not probably be augmented, at present no new appointments can take place.
If an augmentation should be made, and I should be so circumstanced as to be able to advance the views of Mr. W. Warren, I shall eagerly embrace the opportunity.
The machine of government has required a considerable length of time to put it into motion, but it is ardently to be desired it may answer the public expectation.
The President has been quite sick, but is now on the recovery, although his disease will require time before it is subdued.
The minds of Mrs. Knox and myself have been severely exercised between hope and fear for some Days past, respecting the life of one of our children who has been at the point of death. We hope the crisis is past and that it is the will of the supreme principle of life to bless it with a longer continuance on this globe.
Please to present me sincerely to the General. I am, Madam, most respectfully your most Obedient Serv.,
BENJAMIN LINCOLN TO MERCY WARREN
BOSTON, March 25, 1790
MADAM, Your favour of the 22 ulto. has been received. I am pleased with the information that you are attempting the history of the late important transaction of this country which led to its seperation from Great Britain. It must be considered as a fortunate circumstance indeed when there unites in the historian the means of the best information, the power of perfectly pre
serving the materials, an ability pleasingly to arrange them and a disposition to undertake the laborous task.
Permit me, Madam, to assure you that there is nothing in my power which I will not undertake to facilitate the execution of your laudable design. My public papers are at your command. As it will be a work of time to examine them all, I will aid in the business if you will please to point me to any particular transaction on which you wish information. I have the honour of being, Madam, with Sentiments of real esteem your friend and servant, B. LINCOLN
GEORGE WASHINGTON TO MERCY WARREN
MADAM, — I did not receive before the last Mail the letter wherein you favored me with a copy of the Dedication, which you propose affixing to a Work preparing for publication.1 Although I have ever wished to avoid being drawn into public view more than was essentially necessary for public purposes; yet, on the present occasion, duly sensible of the Merits of the respectable and amiable writer, I shall not hesitate to accept the intended honor.
With only leisure to thank you for your indulgent sentiments, and to wish that your Work may meet with the encouragement which I have no doubt it deserves; I hasten to present the Compliments of Mrs. Washington, and to subscribe myself, with great esteem and regard, Madam, Your Most Obedient and Very Humble Servt.
I Poems, Dramatic and Miscellaneous. By Mrs. M. Warren. Printed by Thomas and Andrews at Boston in 1790. The Dedication to Washington is dated March 20, 1790. See letter from Washington, November 4, 1790, infra. Mrs. Warren's letter offering the Dedication, May 1, 1790, is printed in Correspondence of the Revolution, Letters to Washington, IV. 326.