George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Hopkins, 10 April 1789

From John Hopkins

Richmond April 10 1789


Having been the Loan Officer of the United States in the State of Virginia since the Year 1780, by appointment of the Legislature—and by subsequent arrangments of Congress, not only continued in that Office, but honored in the Year 1785 with an additional appointment of receiver of Continental Taxes within the State, my Views and habits have been formed on the expectaton of holding the Office so long as it may be necessary to the public Interest to continue it, & so long as my conduct shall entitle me to the approbation of Government.

Should it be deemed proper to continue the Office, either under the present arrangments, or with some modifications, I conceive it incumbent on me to communicate to the President of the United States my wishes on this subject, least my silence may be construed the effect of an inclination to withdraw from public business.

Trusting entirely to my Conduct as a servant of the United States, which may be fully known from the Honble Board of Treasury, I feel a perfect confidence that no application whatever will come before the president of the United States, supported with little pretentions, than that of a public servant whose discharge of the trust reposed in him he ventures to say has Uniformly received the approbation of those under whom he acted. I have the honor to be Sir with the most profound respect the presidents most obedient & Most humble servant

Jno. Hopkins


John Hopkins (c.1757–1827) of Richmond had served as a clerk in the Virginia treasurer’s office and was married to a daughter of the influential Virginia jurist Peter Lyons. He was appointed Continental loan officer for Virginia in June 1780 and charged with the sale of loan certificates issued by the Continental Congress and the receipt and disbursement of public money. Hopkins’s early years as loan officer were stormy: in November 1781 the Virginia house of delegates accused him of illegally acquiring certificates in order “to defraud both the country and individuals” and briefly suspended him from office, but he was soon cleared of the charges and reinstated (Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia; Begun and Held in the City of Richmond . . . on Monday, the First Day of October, in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty-One [Richmond, 1828], 6, in Microfilm Collection of Early State Records description begins Microfilm Collection of Early State Records prepared by the Library of Congress in association with the University of North Carolina, 1949. description ends ). In August 1790 GW reappointed Hopkins loan officer for Virginia under the terms of “An Act making provision for the [payment of the] Debt of the United States” (1 Stat. description begins Richard Peters, ed. The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America, from the Organization of the Government in 1789, to March 3, 1845 . . .. 8 vols. Boston, 1845-67. description ends 138–44 [4 Aug. 1790]). In a letter of 9 July to GW, Samuel Griffin, congressman from Virginia, recommended that Hopkins be continued in office (DLC:GW).

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