George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Walter Magowan, 20 July 1784

To Walter Magowan

[Mount Vernon] 20th July 1784.

D. Sir

Not knowing of whom the vestry of Peccawaxon is composed—or that I have the honor of being acquainted with a single member of it; there would be I conceive, an impropriety in my addressing them on the subject of your application—otherwise I would with great pleasure join my recommendations of you to those of Majr Jenefer.1 If my best wishes, however, can contribute to the success of your present movement, you have them very sincerely: or if my signifying, that from a long acquaintance with you, I can bear testimony to the truth of what Majr Jenefer has advanced in your behalf, will be of any avail, I would do it with pleasure. In the meanwhile such evidence thereof as this letter affords, you are at free liberty to make use of, because I have full conviction in my own breast, that if the choice of the vestry should light on you, you would make the Parish happy—With great truth & regard I am Dr Sir &c.

G: Washington


Walter Magowan, a Scot, was the tutor for the Custis children at Mount Vernon from 1761 until 1767, when he went to London for his ordination in the Church of England. Upon his return to America, he became a probationer in St. James Parish, Herring Creek, in Anne Arundel County, Md., and in 1769 was made rector of the parish. He was holding that position when he asked GW to support his application for the living at William and Mary (Pickawaxon) Parish, Charles County, Maryland. He died in 1786, apparently while still rector at St. James.

1Major Jenifer was Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer (1723–1790), a native of Charles County, Md., but living at this time in Anne Arundel County, in or near Annapolis.

Index Entries