George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Lewis R. Morris, 22 February 1791

From Lewis R. Morris

22d February 1791


As Vermont will shortly become a member of the general Government, I would solicit the honor of being employed in any Office within that State, which you may consider me qualified to discharge the duties of.1 I have the honor to be Sir, with the greatest Respect your most obedt hum. serv’t

L. R. Morris


Lewis Richard Morris (1760–1825) was a nephew of Gouverneur Morris and of Lewis Morris, a prominent New Jersey Federalist. He was born in Scarsdale, New York. During the Revolution he served as a volunteer aide to Philip Schuyler and George Clinton, and from 1783 to 1786 he was secretary to Robert R. Livingston, secretary of the department of foreign affairs. Morris moved to Vermont in 1786, where he acquired substantial landholdings, engaged in business, and was active in local politics. In 1790–91 he served as clerk of the Vermont legislature and was appointed a commissioner to arrange for the admission of Vermont into the Union.

1Although he expressed a willingness to serve in any office to GW, Morris carried with him a recommendation from George Clinton, dated 1 Feb. 1791, noting that Morris “is desirous . . . to be Marshal of the District,” adding that “His Familly is not unknown to you; but besides being reputably connected, he is a young Gentleman of good Charecter and in my Opinion well qualified to fill that Office” (DLC:GW). In his report on candidates to fill offices in Vermont, Thomas Jefferson noted that Morris was regarded as a suitable candidate for marshal (see Nathaniel Chipman to GW, 22 Feb. 1791, n.1). GW nominated him for U.S. marshal for Vermont on 4 Mar. 1791, and the appointment was confirmed by the Senate the same day (see GW to the U.S. Senate, 4 Mar. 1791). Morris served as marshal until 1794; from 1797 to 1803 he was member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

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