George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Alexander Spotswood, 30 March 1794

From Alexander Spotswood

March 30th 1794.

Dear Sir

your favour of the 15. Inst. came to hand yesterday. and altho I have the highest Opinion of my Sons Abilities, as a perfect Seaman and able Navigator; (not from any knowledge which I have in the Bussiness) But from my Knowledge, of his haveing had a very good Nautical Education—and the High Terms in which, many Nautical men of Abilities Speak of him. Yet it never was my wish, to ask of you impropper promotion for him—But still hope, that circumstances, may yet Turn out, so as to put it in your power, without doing Injustice to others, to make him a first Lieutenant; However, what pleases you, he must receive; and in future, Endeavour by assiduity & merrit to push himself forward.1 I am dr Sr yr affect. & obt St

A. Spotswood


1GW’s letter of 15 March explained why he was unable to give John Augustine Spotswood a commission in the new navy at this time. It was John Adams, and not GW, who finally gave the younger Spotswood the desired appointment in the U.S. Navy (see Senate Executive Journal description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America: From the commencement of the First, to the termination of the Nineteenth Congress. Vol. 1. Washington, D.C., 1828. description ends , 337–38).

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