George Washington Papers

From George Washington to the United States Senate, 29 September 1789

To the United States Senate


Gentlemen of the Senate,September 29th 1789.

Agreeably to the act of Congress for adapting the establishment of the Troops in public service to the Constitution of the United States,1 I nominate the Persons, specified in the enclosed list, to be the commissioned Officers thereof.

This nomination differs from the existing arrangement only in the following cases—to wit.

Lieutenant Erkuries Beatty promoted to a vacant captaincy in the Infantry—Ensign Edward Spear promoted to a vacant Lieutenancy of Artillery—Jacob Melcher, who has been serving as a Volunteer, to be an Ensign, vice Benjamin Lawrence, who was appointed nearly three years past, and has never been mustered, or joined the Troops.

It is to be observed that the order, in which the Captains and Subalterns are named, is not to affect their relative rank, which has been hitherto but imperfectly settled, owing to the perplexity of promotions in the State-quotas conformably to the late confederation.

Go: Washington

LS, in the writing of William Jackson, DNA: RG 46, First Congress, Records of Executive Proceedings, President’s Messages—Executive Nominations; LB, DLC:GW.

1“An Act to recognize and adapt to the Constitution of the United States the establishment of the Troops raised under the Resolves of the United States in Congress assembled, and for other purposes therein mentioned” continued the military establishment provided for in the resolve of the Confederation Congress of 3 Oct. 1787 (JCC, description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends 33:602–4). Section 5, for “the purpose of protecting the inhabitants of the frontiers of the United States from the hostile incursions of the Indians,” authorized the president “to call into service from time to time, such part of the militia of the states respectively, as he may judge necessary for the purpose aforesaid” (Stat. description begins Richard Peters, ed. The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America, from the Organization of the Government in 1789, to March 3, 1845 . . .. 8 vols. Boston, 1845-67. description ends , 1:95–96 [29 Sept. 1789]).

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