George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Moses Robinson, 10 May 1791

From Moses Robinson

Bennington [Vt.] May 10th 1791


I beg leave to Recommend to your notice Mr Tolman a Citizen of Vermont who is on a tour for his health; and, Consisting with that, wishes for an Employment at the Seat of the Goverment of the union if an office of which he is Capable, and in which the public Service might be promoted, might be Conferrd.1 Mr Tolman has the merit of long & Satisfactory Services in Sundry public Employments for his request, perticularly, in this State those of paymaster, & Secretary to the Governor & Council; and I Can freely Recommend him as a man of Good moral Character—of faithfulness in Business, and, I believe, Ingenious in the good branches of Clerkship. If an office of this kind Could be Conferrd, in which the public might be benifited by his service (his health permitting) and he Receive a Compensation, it would lay him and his Family under perticular Obligations—be Considered as a token of your favour towards this newly Confederated Republic, and Could not fail of being duly acknowledged. With the most Ardent wish for your happiness, and the prosperity of the Government of the union, I have the honor to be, with Sentiments of the highest Respect, Sir, your very obedient & humble servant

Moses Robinson


Moses Robinson (c.1742–1813) was born in Hardwick, Mass., the son of Samuel Robinson, a founder of Bennington, Vermont. During the Revolutionary War he served as a colonel in the militia and sat on the Vermont governor’s council and the council of censors. In 1778 he was elected first chief justice of Vermont’s supreme court and sat on the bench until he was elected governor of the state in October 1789. In January 1791 Robinson was elected one of the new state’s first U.S. senators.

1A docket on the letter’s cover reads: “Mr Tolman respectfully informs that he has put up, at Dr [Benjamin] Vanleer’s, in South Eighth Street, between Market & Chesnut. July 4th.” Thomas Tolman (1757–1842) of Cornwall, Vt., who had served as a lieutenant and paymaster during the Revolutionary War, also presented to GW a recommendation, dated 30 April 1791, from Vermont governor Thomas Chittenden (DLC:GW). No evidence has been found that Tolman was offered a federal appointment.

Index Entries