George Washington Papers

From George Washington to John Clark, 6 October 1794

To John Clark

Carlisle [Pa.] 6th Octr 1794


Your favor of the 27th ulto was put into my hands in the moment I was leaving the City of Philadelphia, and I have had neither leizure or opportunity of acknowledging the receipt of it since, till now.1

I thank you for your polite offer of attending me to the field, but my going thither, or returning to the Seat of Government in time for the meeting of Congress, depends upon circumstances not within my controul, nor of which have I such accurate information2 as to enable me to decide.

Nothing short of imperious necessity can justify my being absent from the Seat of government while Congress is in Session. Under this view of the matter, I decline making any establishment of a family, unless that necessity should occur—when, in the choice of aids, I must have regard to considerations of different kinds. I am, Sir yr obedt Hble Serv.

Go: Washington

ALS (photocopy), Christie, Manson & Woods International, Printed Books and Manuscripts including Americana. New York, Friday, May 17 and Saturday, May 18, 1991 (Flavia 7286), facing p. 145; ADf, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; LB, DLC:GW.

1Clark’s letter to GW of 27 Sept. reads in part: “I am just informed that the Army marching to quell the Insurgents, will be commanded by you in person; if so, I beg the honor of serving you as an Aid, and assure you, that every exertion shall be made to render myself worthy your notice, and to discharge the duty you may assign me; this berth, I often covetted, during the late war; and if I can obtain it now, it is all I wish” (ALS, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters).

2At this point the draft and the letter-book copy add the words “at present”; GW had written those words on the ALS, but he changed “at” to “as” and deleted “present.”

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