To George Washington
[Philadelphia, March 1–4, 1791]
The Secretary of the Treasury presents his respects to The President of the United States. He has just ascertained that General Matthews1 would not accept. His son is older than was believed 29 years of age & has a family. As he will have the benefit of his fathers influence which is considerable and is a young man of real merit & as the appointment of any other candidate would be subject to the uncertainty of acceptance or not, the nomination of the son is perhaps the best thing that can be done.
Major Butler2 has just called on me to say that he has reason to believe General Huger3 the present Martial if appointed Supervisor would accept, & he is of opinion would give popularity to the measure. Should this appear adviseable Stevens may be Marshall & would in all probability discharge the office well. But this communication is for the information of the President merely, not from any conviction that an alteration of the first arrangement would be an improvement. It [is] however admitted on all hands that General Huger is a worthy man & has claims on the public on the score of sacrifices.
Since writing the above the inclosed has come to hand.4
AL, George Washington Papers, Library of Congress.
1. Although “General Matthews” is identified by Gaillard Hunt as Joseph Matthews (Calendar of Applications, 84), a letter, dated February 9, 1791, from William Matthews of Baltimore to George Washington encloses letters from William Smith, member of the House of Representatives from Maryland, and a group of Baltimore citizens recommending William Matthews for the post of inspector of the revenue (George Washington Papers, Library of Congress).
2. Senator Pierce Butler of South Carolina.
3. Isaac Huger was a South Carolina planter and Federal marshal for South Carolina. At this time he was being considered for the post of supervisor of the revenue in that state. On March 4, 1791, however, Daniel Stevens was appointed to the post, and Huger remained Federal marshal.