George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Anthony Wayne, 6 April 1789

From Anthony Wayne

Richmond State of Georgia 6th April 1789


Accept of my warmest & sincerest congratulations, upon your appointment to the Presidency of the United States of America! & altho’ it cannot add to the Illustrious Character, you have so justly merited & established through the World, yet it reflects additional honor upon the Western Empire—by a display of her Wisdom—prudence & Gratitude, in the choice she has made of her greatest soldier—ablest statesman—& truest friend, to preside over her!

The task she has assigned you is ardious—but you are equal to it—the unbounded confidence placed in you, by every class of Citizens (which no other man cou’d expect or hope for) will contribute to render it less difficult—in fact—it is a Crisis that requires a Washington! I am therefore tempted to take the liberty, as an individual, sincerely devoted to you, & to my Country, to pray you to accept of the trust now committed to your charge! & at the same time to offer my ready & best services, shou’d they be at any time wanted, either in the Civil or Military line, in any quarter of America.

have the goodness to pardon this freedom as it flows from the heart of a sincere friend & also permit me to introduce Brigr Genl James Jackson (a representative from the State of Georgia) who I know to be a valuable Citizen—a good Soldier, & an honest man.1

I hope to have the honor of paying my respects to you at the seat of Government in the course of the ensuing summer Interim I am with every sentiment of regard & Esteem Your Excellency’s most Obt & very Hume Sert

Anty Wayne

ALS, CSmH; ADfS, PHi: Wayne Papers.

1James Jackson (1757–1806) was born in England and emigrated to Georgia at the age of fifteen. During the Revolution he served with the Georgia militia and as colonel in the Georgia Legionary Corps. After the war Jackson practiced law in Savannah, and by 1789, when he was elected to Congress from Georgia’s eastern district, he had built a lucrative practice. Wayne vigorously supported Jackson in his bid for Congress, but by 1791 he had good reason to change his opinion of his former friend. In the elections for the Second Congress Jackson again stood for Congress, and Wayne, who had in 1788 changed his residence from Pennsylvania to Georgia, also announced his candidacy in the eastern district. Wayne was elected, 3 Jan. 1791, by a majority of twenty-one votes. Shortly after the election there were rumors of fraud in various polling places, and Jackson launched an acrimonious attack upon Wayne and his supporters, ending with an appeal to the House of Representatives in November 1791 to overturn Wayne’s election. After a trial of the charges lasting several weeks the House on 21 Mar. 1792 declared Wayne’s election invalid and ordered the Georgia executive to hold a new election (Journal of the House, description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States . . .. various places, 1789—. description ends 1:452, 455, 457, 462, 463, 502, 505, 521–22, 534, 535, 536, 540, 541, 542–43). At the special election held in Georgia later in the year neither Wayne nor Jackson stood as candidates.

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