George Washington Papers

From George Washington to William Deakins, Jr., 17 May 1795

To William Deakins, Jr.

Philadelphia 17 May 1795

Dear Sir;

Your letter of the 5th instant has been duly received:1 That the duties of a Commissioner of the Federal City would have been discharged with ability and fidelity by the Gentleman whose name you have mentioned to me, I cannot harbour a doubt; but the An——l Gab——l, in his situation would have been charged with partiality. From a thorough conviction of this, I have never turned my attention to a character who, at the time of his appointment; was a resident either in George Town, or the Federal City.

The evening of the day I parted with you last, wrote to a gentleman of Virginia (from whence as part of the district of Columbia lyes in it and the State has contributed to the expence of the public buildings, I was inclined to look for the successor of Mr Carroll) and have received his answer of acceptance of the Office of Commissioner.2 With esteem and regard I am Dear Sir Your Obt Servt

Go: Washington


1Deakins had responded to GW’s earlier request if he knew of any person to replace Daniel Carroll as a commissioner for the District of Columbia. He informed the president that Uriah Forrest “will Chearfully Accept of the appointment.” Deakins had received the information from Gustavus Scott and went on to say that the appointment would be acceptable to both Scott and William Thornton. “Altho Colo. Forrest has been of the party opposed to the Measures of the former Commissioners,” Deakins wrote, “still I beleive him to be a Man of Integrity, he is truly the Man of business, and resource of Mind he does not want Industry, & when a responsibility is Lodged in him, I think he would use great exertions to discharge the trust with reputation.” Deakins added that he believed Forrest would reside in the Federal City if he received the appointment.

Before closing his letter, Deakins noted, “John Davidson of Annapolis has also been Mentioned, but I do not think his abilities by any Means equal to the Other nor would he be so pleasing” (ALS, DLC:GW).

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