Samuel Washburn wrote his brother, Elihu Washburne, requesting information about his chances of taking command of a gunboat. Elihu Washburne, who added the ancestral "e" to his surname, was serving in the House of Representatives from the State of Illinois at the time of this letter.
Samuel Washburn served in the U.S. Navy during the Civil War and after being wounded on the USS Galena, he returned to Livermore to care for his father.
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