George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Josias Carvill Hall, 20 May 1789

From Josias Carvill Hall

Baltimore May 20th 1789


If in the distribution of the Offices necessary to the execution of the new government there should be one suited to my capacity your Excellency will confer a favor by having me in consideration when you are pleased to make the appointment.

My absence from home during the war, And consequent neglect & depriciation of my fortune, has made this application in some degree necessary.1 With the greatest Respect & esteem I have the honor to be yr Excellencys Mo. Obt & very Hble Sert

Jo. Carvill Hall


Josias Carvill (Carvil) Hall (1746–1814) was a Baltimore County physician and planter who was educated at the Pennsylvania College of Medicine. Hall served with Maryland forces in the Revolution, holding ranks ranging from captain to brigadier general. At the time this letter was written he was a member of the Maryland executive council. During the Whiskey Insurrection in 1794 Hall was appointed a brigadier general for Hartford and Cecil counties in the newly reorganized Maryland militia.

1On 15 July 1789 Hall again approached GW, requesting “your nomination, to the office of Collecter or Naval Officer for the Port of Baltimore; I know Sir you cannot gratify all, & doubt not, it will give you pain, to reject any you may think possessed of merit. I would only beg leave to add, that I suffered much by my absence during the war and am now disengaged from business. That I flatter myself, my appointment, to the office I sollicit, would be acceptable to my fellow citizens and that I am qualified to execute the duties Thereof with fidelity & punctuality; whether favord or not, I shall have the satisfaction to believe that you act from the purest motives” (DLC:GW). After the death in 1794 of Otho H. Williams, the collector at Baltimore, Hall wrote to GW on 19 July and 2 Aug. concerning the appointment (DLC:GW). Hall received no federal appointment until 1798 when he was commissioned as a lieutenant colonel in one of the United States regiments raised during the Quasi-War with France (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 1:299).

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