George Washington Papers

Tobias Lear to Matthew Clarkson, 29 March 1792

Tobias Lear to Matthew Clarkson

Philadelphia, March 29th 1792.


The President of the United States has received your letter of the 22d instant, expressing an intention of resigning the Office of Marshal for the New York District.1

While the President regrets the loss of your services to the public, he hopes the circumstances which have induced a resignation of your appointment, are such as will conduce to your personal happiness and prosperity. But, Sir, permit me to say, that I know it will not only be pleasing to the President, but releiving him from an addition to the weight of his important business at this moment, if you will continue to exercise the duties of your Office some little time longer, until he shall have time to turn his thought towards a proper character for your successor. But if this shou’d be incompatible with your views, the return of your Commission will be an evidence of it to the President, who must then fix upon another person immediately to fill the Office.2 I have the honor to be, very respectfully, Sir, Your most Obedt Servt

Tobias Lear.
Secretary to the President
of the United States.

ALS (letterpress copy), DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; LB, DLC:GW.

1Clarkson wrote GW from New York on 22 Mar. 1792 to resign his “peculiarly gratifying” appointment because of unstated “particular circumstances” (DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters). GW had appointed Clarkson federal marshal of the New York district in the summer of 1791, when Congress was not in session, and the Senate confirmed the appointment that November (see John Jay to GW, 13 Mar. 1791, n.1, and GW to the U.S. Senate, 31 Oct. 1791 [first letter], n.3).

2Clarkson apparently continued to perform the duties of his office a little while longer, as GW did not name Aquila Giles to succeed him until May 1792 (see GW to the U.S. Senate, 3 May [second letter]). Lear forwarded Clarkson’s returned commission to Thomas Jefferson on 7 June (DNA: RG 59, George Washington’s Correspondence with His Secretaries of State).

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