George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Alexander Hamilton, 8 November 1790

To Alexander Hamilton

Mount Vernon Novr 8th 1790


I have received your letters of the 26th ult: & 1st Instt1—The objection stated by you to the appointment of Mr Spence being conclusive, I now enclose a letter from Mr Wingate to me recommendatory of another Candidate, with my answer occasioned by the previous appointment of Mr Woodbury Langdon—but should that Gentleman finally determine not to accept, and you learn, on enquiry, that Colo. Rogers is qualified to discharge the duties of the office, I shall have no objection to appoint him.2

The enclosed application from Captain Kelly, for the command of one of the revenue Cutters, will receive your consideration, and be compared with the pretentions of other applicants.3

In my letter of the 4th instant I informed you that Capt: Taylor had declined his appointment4—he has since in consequence of your letter to him, waited upon me & agreed to accept—Observing that he should pursue your instructions for superintending the building and equipment of the Vessel, he expressed a doubt what kind of Vessel could be built for the sum limitted, which would answer the purposes of the service. Swiftness of sailing being especially required, he thought that the pilot-boat construction would be best on that account, though very inconvenient in point of accommodation; and he submitted the idea of taking such pilot boats as had, upon trial been found to excel in the requisite of sailing. I am Sir, Your Most Obt Servant

G: Washington


2Upon being informed that Nathaniel Gilman declined his appointment as New Hampshire state loans commissioner (see Hamilton to GW, 6 Oct. 1790, n.1), U.S. senator Paine Wingate of New Hampshire recommended Col. Nathaniel Rogers (1745–1829) of Newmarket, N.H., as a suitable candidate for the office (see Wingate to GW, 16 Oct. 1790, DLC:GW). GW also enclosed his reply to Wingate, which reads: “Previous to the receipt of your letter of the 16th ultimo, with which I was favored two days ago, a Gentleman had been appointed to succeed Mr Gilman as Commissioner of loans for the State of New-Hampshire” (GW to Wingate, 4 Nov. 1790, LS, owned [1991] by Mr. Joseph Rubinfine, West Palm Beach, Fla.). After receiving Woodbury Langdon’s 9 Nov. 1790 letter declining the office of New Hampshire loans commissioner, GW appointed William Gardner to that post and nominated Langdon to the office of commissioner for settling accounts between the United States and the individual states, which John Taylor Gilman had earlier resigned (see Commissioners for Settling Accounts to GW, 21 July 1790, n.2; Langdon to GW, 9 Nov. 1790, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; Hamilton to GW, 2 Dec. 1790, DLC:GW; GW to the U.S. Senate, 23 Dec. 1790; DHFC, description begins Linda Grant De Pauw et al., eds. Documentary History of the First Federal Congress of the United States of America, March 4, 1789-March 3, 1791. 20 vols. to date. Baltimore, 1972—. description ends 2:100, 101, 516; Syrett, Hamilton Papers, description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends 7:96–97).

3The 19 Oct. 1790 letter of Thomas Kelly of New Bern, N.C., solicited “the command of a Cutter; shou’d one be allotted to the waters of this State which communicate with the Sea through Ocacock Bar” and covered a certificate signed by his fellow townsmen, which has not been found (DLC:GW). William McDaniel of Washington, N.C., was another North Carolina revenue cutter applicant (see Syrett, Hamilton Papers, description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends 7:111).

4For Richard Taylor’s vacillation in accepting command of the southern Chesapeake cutter, see GW to Hamilton, 20 Sept. 1790, n.4, and 4 Nov. 1790.

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