George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Christopher Richmond, 7 March 1791

From Christopher Richmond

Philadelphia 7th March 1791


It is with great diffidence that I address Your Excellency, upon the subject I now do, but being encouraged by the good opinion expressed by my Friends Governor Johnson, Major McHenry, and Mr D. Carroll in their Letters enclosed, I take the liberty to solicit, that when any Office becomes vacant, either at the Seat of Congress, or in the State of Maryland; you will be pleased to favor me so far, as to nominate me to such a one under the United States; as in your judgment I may be fit to execute.

I am induced to make this Application, from an Idea that I am too far advanced in life, to enter into a precarious branch of business as a Merchant, and also in consideration, that as my present appointment is only temporary; it becomes necessary for me to aim at procuring a Post which may be permanent.

I have for some days past expected Letters of recommendation to Your Excellency, from Colonel Plater Colonel Fitzhugh, Chancellor Hanson, Mr Paca, and others; but as I am informed you will leave this City in a few days; I have taken the liberty of presenting the enclosed without waiting for their arrival.1 With the highest respect, I have the Honor to be, Sir, Your obedient and very hble Servant

Chrisr Richmond


Christopher Richmond served as Thomas Howe Ridgate’s storekeeper in Port Tobacco, Md., before the Revolution. In 1775 he joined the first Maryland battalion as clerk to the colonel, William Smallwood. He subsequently served as paymaster and was promoted to captain in 1781. Following Smallwood’s election as governor of Maryland, Richmond was appointed state auditor general (Md. Archives, description begins Archives of Maryland. 72 vols. Baltimore, 1883–1972. description ends 18:5). See also GW to Richmond, 6 April 1785. Richmond was hoping to succeed the dying Nicholas Eveleigh as comptroller of the treasury.

1The recommendation from Thomas Johnson, dated 10 Nov. 1790, describes Richmond as “a Gentleman with whom I have been acquainted upwards of twenty Years—he served in the Army, has since acted as Auditor General in this State and is now employed in settling our Accounts with Congress a Business that it is to be hoped will soon be finished—He may probably apply to you, sir, for some Appointment I should be happy in his Success for he is skilful attentive and accurate in Business and his probity is as generally acknowledged as he is known.” The recommendation of James McHenry, who wrote to GW on 4 Jan. 1791 from Baltimore, notes that Richmond was on his way to Philadelphia to “bring forward the claims of this State against the United States.” Daniel Carroll’s recommendation, dated Philadelphia, 7 Mar. 1791, urged Richmond’s appointment “from a Confidence I have in his merits on a long acquaintance.” Richmond was also recommended to GW by George Plater, who wrote to GW on 21 Dec. 1790, by John Eager Howard, who wrote to GW on 15 Mar. 1791, by Alexander Contee Hanson, whose letter is dated 26 Mar. 1791, and by William Paca, who wrote on 25 May 1791 (DLC:GW).

All of these recommendations are in DLC:GW. Richmond did not receive an appointment from GW.

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