George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Rayner Taylor, 25 October 1793

From Rayner Taylor

Octr 25 Philadelphia
No. 96 north sixth street
between Arch and Race streets


That Philanthrophy which marks your character, encourages me to take the liberty of addressing you, particularly as a stranger lately settled in this City; the intention of which is to request the honour of your Name as a subscriber to an Anthem I am now publishing, particulars of which are mentioned in the Federal Gazette.1

I left the city of Annapolis a few months ago at the desire of Mr Reinagle, who was formerly my scholar, and who wished me to settle here as a teacher of Music to succeed him in that Business; but the unhappy calamity has deprived me of all business, and having no other employment I have been advised to compose the work in question, which, from the opportunity I have had of acquiring my profession in the first seminary in England, and Thirty years experience, I flatter myself will not be found unworthy public encouragement, particularly if honoured by your approbation.

I will no longer tresspass on your Time and begging pardon for this intrusion am Sir Your most obedient and most humble servant

Rayner Taylor.

ALS, DLC:GW. The composer Rayner Taylor (1747–1825) was educated at the King’s Singing School in London. After a career as church organist and music director for theaters in England and Scotland, Taylor emigrated to the United States in 1792. Before his move to Philadelphia in 1793 he was organist at St. Anne’s Church in Annapolis. He was for many years the organist at St. Peter’s Church in Philadelphia.

1The Federal Gazette and Philadelphia Daily Advertiser, 24 Oct., printed an advertisement, dated 23 Oct., for “Sacred Music. Proposals, for printing by Subscription, An ANTHEM, Suitable to the present occasion, for public and private worship. The Music composed by RAYNER TAYLOR, Teacher and Professor of Music, Philadelphia. The price to subscribers—One Dollar.”

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