George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Robert Morris, 14 December 1789

To Robert Morris

New York Decemr 14th 1789.

Dear Sir,

I have been favored with the receipt of your letter of the 9th instant1—In reply to the object of its enclosure, I can only observe that Mr Hamilton is a Gentleman of whom I am inclined to think well, and to believe qualified for the office he solicits: But the rule, which I have prescribed to myself, being intended to preserve a freedom of choice in all nominations, forbids any engagement whatever until the nomination is made.2

I beg you to accept my best thanks for the obliging offer which you made, through Major Jackson, of accommodating me with a Steward—and I regret that circumstances do not permit me to prove to you my belief of it’s sincerity: But the multiplied duties of the station would, I apprehend, be too fatiguing for a Person as far advanced as Constance—and Anthony’s youth would disqualify him from obtaining the necessary authority over the other Servants, all of whom are so much his seniors.

I am very sensible of your goodness in agreeing to promote my convenience at the expence of your own, and I am not less grateful than if the intention had been fulfilled.

Be pleased to present Mrs Washington’s, and my compliments to Mrs Morris—and believe me, with great regard, Dear Sir, Your most obedient Servant


Copy, in the writing of David Humphreys, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; LB, DLC:GW.

1Letter not found.

2The enclosure was undoubtedly a letter of 17 Oct. 1789 from John Hamilton of Edenton, N.C., to Robert Morris, seeking a post in the federal Judiciary: “Mr Iredell of this Place I understand has made application thro. Doctr Hugh Williamson for the office of Judge and a Major Clement Hall for that of Marshall. I beg you will excuse my importunity but as others have made such early application I am advised by my Friends to request of you (if consistent with your feelings and Situation) to make as early a Recommendation to the President in my favor as possible for the attorneys Place, more particularly as there is a moral certainty of this States adopting the Constitution, on the third Monday of next Month. I shall do myself the Pleasure of writing you whenever that happy event takes place” (DLC:GW). For Hamilton’s application to GW, see his letter of 8 Feb. 1790. When GW made the North Carolina appointments in February 1790, the position of United States attorney for the state went to William H. Hill of Wilmington rather than to Hamilton who received no federal appointment.

Index Entries