To John Tayloe
Mount Vernon 21st July 1798
This instant, on my return from my usual ride, your favour of the 15th was put into my hands by your Servt.
At the sametime that I express the pleasure I feel at seeing Gentlemen of your fortune, ease and Independent situation, step forward in vindication of the rights of our Country, it is incumbent on me to add, that appointments in the army which is to be raised, do not lye with me. but I shall not fail to send your letter to the Secretary of War, to be laid before the President of the U.S., who, I am persuaded, will view the tender of your Services in the favourable light I do myself.1
If I take the field, a variety of circumstances must combine (some more powerful than my wishes) in the choice of my Aids, for which reason I shall avoid all engagements; and hold myself perfectly free until that period shall arrive, or is close at hand; unless singular cases shou’d arise, that I may be under no embarrassment in the selection of them at that time. Mrs Washington and Miss Custis are thankful for the kind remembrance of them by Mrs Tayloe & yourself, and unite with me in best regards for you both. With great esteem, I am—Dear Sir Your obedt Hble Servant
ALS (letterpress copy), DLC:GW.
1. On 22 July GW forwarded the letter of 15 July from John Tayloe (1771–1828) of Mount Airy in Richmond County to Secretary of War James McHenry. The letter has not been found. GW reminded McHenry of Tayloe’s status in Virginia society and of his influential family connections. See also Candidates for Army Appointments in Virginia, November 1798 (DLC:GW).