George Washington Papers

To George Washington from James McHenry, 31 March 1794

From James McHenry


Sir.Fayetteville [Md.] 31 March 1794.

I have very often troubled you respecting others; will you excuse me for speaking a little concerning myself. My health which has suffered a considerable shock by an autumnal fever in 1792 & 1793, I am pretty well persuaded might be benefited by a change of climate for a short time. It has struck me that the new situation in which the United States may find itself will require additional diplomatic appointments to forward or attend to its interests abroad, at least till peace and order shall take place in Europe. Should this be the case, and any opening occur where the little talents I may possess could be rendered useful it would greatly oblige and gratify me to be considered by you as a proper person to fill one of them. I hope I need not say that a vain ambition has had no share in this application, and my own interest as little. Had either any influence over my conduct it is no ways likely that I should have waited for ill health to have stimulated them into action.1 Wishing you most sincerely in this difficult moment a continuance of your wonted health I have the honor to be very respectfully & affectionately your ob. st

James McHenry


1On 3 April, James McHenry wrote another letter to GW, in which he expanded on his request for a diplomatic appointment. For GW’s reply to both these letters, see his letter to McHenry of 8 April.

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