From George Turner
City of Washington, Jan: 14th 1799
Conscious of my very limited pretensions to military acquirements, I cannot, without great diffidence, presume to offer my Services to the Commander in Chief, as one of his Aides: Yet, Sir, if attachment to your person and the Service, and a wish to improve under your auspices in the Field, may be considered as an Earnest towards the attainment of other needful Qualifications, I would beg leave to solicit the honour of that appointment. With sentiments of the highest respect I have the honour to be, Sir, Your very Obedient and Humble Servant
George Turner, who had recently resigned his judgeship in the western territory, visited Mount Vernon in February 1799 with his friend William Thornton (Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 6:333). Turner was born in England and during the Revolution served as a captain in the 1st South Carolina Regiment. GW had frequent dealings with him in the 1780s when Turner was assistant secretary general of the Society of the Cincinnati. GW’s reply has not been found. Turner, however, wrote Thornton on 2 June 1799: “Have I entered the list of warriors? you ask . . . I answer, No” (Harris, Thornton Papers, description begins C. M. Harris, ed. Papers of William Thornton: Volume One, 1781-1802. Charlottesville, Va., 1995. description ends 1:497–99).