George Washington Papers
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To George Washington from David Ford, 5 September 1795

From David Ford

Philadelphia Septr 5th 1795

Sir

Having been Inform’d some time since that Mr DeSaussure’s Acceptance of the Office of Director of the mint, was Conditional & depended on the Concurrence of his friends in Carolina, I took measures to procure the documents necessary to Support an application to be brought forward as soon as possible after his determination should be made.

Understanding that he has resolved to resign,1 I do myself the Honor of Stating to you, that I am willing to Undertake the Duties of that Office, should I be favored with Your Confidence.

Enclosed I beg leave to submit the testimonials upon which I have ventured to take this step.2

Permit me to add that if any person deemed better qualified should Offer himself, & meet Your preference, I shall chearfully acquiesce in the propriety of Your Judgment. With great Respect I have the Honor To Remain Sir your Most Obt sert

Davd Ford

ALS, DLC:GW.

David Ford (1761–1835), of Morristown, N.J., served as a captain of New Jersey militia in the Whiskey Insurrection campaign. He later moved to New York.

1Henry William DeSaussure sent his resignation as director of the U.S. Mint to GW on 7 September.

2Ford’s letters of recommendation sent to GW include one dated 27 Aug. from John J. Faesch of Boonton, N.J., who noted Ford had “been my Partner for the last five Years.” Faesch described him “as Person, whose experience in Manufactories and Mechanism is very considerable, And one in whose Honor and Integrity the utmost confidence may be placed.” Faesch also praised Ford’s “Activity, Industry and abilities … And as a steady friend to the Gouvernment of the United States” (ALS, DLC:GW).

New Jersey governor Richard Howell wrote GW on 29 Aug. at the request of Ford’s friends “to contribute Information of his Character, if any Occasion should require it.” Howell stated that “Mr Ford is very well known in Jersey, & universally acknowledged as a Gentleman of strictly federal Principles & Conduct, which may now be denominated Virtue. His late & former Activity as an Officer & Citizen have justly distinguished him, & it is with pleasure I represent him as altogether worthy of public & private Confidence.” Howell informed the president that he possessed “a real Knowledge” of Ford’s “Integrity & responsibility in Business, & believe him possesed of an Activity & Information capable of being serviceable as Master of the Mint” (ALS, DLC:GW).

On 4 Sept., Treasury Secretary Oliver Wolcott, Jr., sent GW a letter of recommendation dated 28 Aug. from U.S. Sen. Frederick Frelinghuysen of New Jersey. Frelinghuysen also testified to Ford’s ability and character and gave assurance that his appointment as director of the mint “will be agreable to the citizens of New Jersey” (DLC:GW).

Supreme Court Justice William Paterson, in a letter to GW of 15 Sept., recommended Ford as “active and industrious, a man of integrity and fair moral character, and sincerely and fervently attached to the constitution, laws, and government of the United States” (ALS, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters).

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