George Washington Papers

From George Washington to George Plater, 14 May 1789

To George Plater

United States May 14th 1789

Dear Sir,

I have received your letter of the 29th of April,1 and must beg you to accept of my best thanks for your kind gratulations and good wishes.

I foresaw the numerous applications which would be made for nominations to offices—and readily conceived that amidst the variety of candidates, it would be one of the most delicate and difficult duties of the President, to discriminate those characters which, upon every account, were best fitted to fill the several offices. I have entered into Public life without the restraint of a single engagement—and I hope, & trust, unbiassed by any ties of blood or friendship; I shall, therefore, use my best endeavours to find out such persons as are most suitable, on every acct, to fill the respective offices—and such only shall I nominate. With my Complimts to Mrs Plater and your family, and with very great regard & esteem2 I am Dr Sir

Copy, in the writing of Tobias Lear, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; LB, DLC:GW.

George Plater (1735–1792) of St. Marys County, Md., was educated at the College of William and Mary, studied law, and opened a law office in Annapolis in the mid–1750s. He served as naval officer at Patuxent from 1767 to 1773 and, at various times, as justice of the peace for St. Marys County and judge of the provincial court. He held a number of positions in the state government, including service on the Maryland council from 1771 to 1774 and in the state senate from 1776 to 1791. From 1778 to 1780 he was a delegate to the Continental Congress. As president of the Maryland Ratifying Convention in 1788 he supported the Constitution. From 1791 until his death he was governor of Maryland.

2Plater’s second wife, whom he married in 1764, was Elizabeth Rousby Plater of Calvert County, Maryland.

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