George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Abraham Hardenbergh, 22 May 1789

From Abraham Hardenbergh

New York May 22nd 1789.

The Petition of Abraham Hardenbergh late an Officer in the first New York Regiment in the Army of the United states Sheweth

That he is advised that the Office of Geographer to the United states has become vacant by the death of Captain Hutchins—That Your petitioner has been employed as one of the Commissioners to ascertain the Line of Jurisdiction between the State of New York and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in which he trusts he has discharged his duty with Ability and propriety. That he deems himself possessed of the Talents necessary to fill the Office of Geographer and therefore begs leave to Solicit that Appointment.

That to evince Your petitioners Qualifications for that Office he begs leave to refer to the Certificate of Simeon DeWitt Esquire late Geographer General to the Army of the United states and the present Surveyor General for the State of New York and of Peter Wilson one of the professors in Columbia College accompanying this his petition.1 And your petitioner as in duty bound shall ever pray &c.

Abraham Hardenbergh

ALS, DLC:GW. This letter is addressed “To the President and Senate of the United States.”

Abraham Hardenbergh served as an ensign in the 4th New York Regiment from May to November 1776 and as a second lieutenant in the 1st New York for the rest of the war.

1Simeon DeWitt’s certificate, 19 May 1789, recommended Hardenbergh as “a proper person to be appointed. From the intimate acquaintance which I have long had with him I am enabled to vouch for his Qualifications to execute that Office. And should he Receive the appointment I have the fullest confidence that it would be attended to with the strictest integrity and Assiduity.” Peter Wilson’s letter, 19 May 1789, stated that he “had frequent Opportunities of observing the moral Deportment and of judging of the Mathematical Abilities of Mr Abraham Hardenbergh . . . both by Conversation, and by seeing Calculations &c. on important Subjects in Mathematics and Astronomy made by him . . . can . . . recommend him as a Gentleman of unexceptionable Moral Character, and well qualified for filling any office in the United States where these Sciences are necessary.” Both certificates are in DLC:GW.

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