George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Samuel Osgood, 11 July 1791

From Samuel Osgood

Philadelphia July 11th 1791.


In the Execution of the Duties incumbent on the Postmaster General, I am sensible from Experience of the Propriety of his residing at the Seat of Government.

From a Consideration of the Inconveniences that would result to me by a Removal to Philadelphia, I am induced to make a Resignation of the Office of Postmaster General with which you were pleased to honor me, and for which, I beg leave to make my most grateful Acknowledgements. Whenever a Successor may be appointed, I shall be ready to deliver over the Office.1

Permit me, Sir, to mention Mr Burrall, who has been my Assistant in the Office; His Knowledge of the Business of the Department—His attention & Accuracy in keeping the Accounts of the same, as well as his long Services in other Departments under the late Congress of the united States, are Circumstances in his favor, which, I have no doubt, will have that weight given to them, which they may Justly merit.

sincerely wishing you a long & prosperous Continuance in your present important and arduous Station. I have the honor to be With the greatest Respect Sir, your most obedient Servant

Samuel Osgood

ALS, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters.

1Rumors of New York resident Samuel Osgood’s impending resignation as postmaster general had circulated ever since the federal capital moved from New York to Philadelphia in 1790 (see Timothy Pickering to GW, 3 Sept. 1790 and note 2) and resurfaced in the spring of 1791. When John Moylan recommended his brother Stephen for the vacancy to Robert Morris on 17 July 1791, he mentioned that “a few months ago” Osgood’s resignation “was talked of as soon likely to take place” (DLC:GW). See also Lear to GW, 17 April. For GW’s appointment of Pickering as Osgood’s replacement, see Pickering to GW, 27 August.

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