George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Andrew Porter, 24 August 1789

From Andrew Porter

August 24th 1789.

Honble Sr

I take the liberty to offer myself a candidate for the Office of Surveyor Genl for the Western Territory, and solicite your Excellency for the appointment to that Office. Herewith I have enclosed the Certificates of Doctrs Ewing & Rittenhouse of my Qualification and fitness to fill that important Office.1 Also one from the Honble Henry Knox under whose immediate Command I served during the War. For further information of my charactor I beg leave to refer your Excellency to the following Honble Gentlemen—Arthur St Clare, Henry Knox, Robert Morris, William McClay, Fredk A. Muhlenburgh, Richd Henry Lee, Paine Wingate and Elbridge Gerry. I have the Honour to be Honble Sr your Excellency’s most Obedt & very Humble Servt

Andrew Porter


Andrew Porter (1743–1813) of Pennsylvania was a captain of marines at the beginning of the Revolution, went to the artillery to serve under Henry Knox, and in 1781 was assigned to manufacture gunpowder for use in the Yorktown campaign. After the war Porter farmed for a time, engaged in surveying for the state, and from 1809 until his death served as surveyor general for Pennsylvania. He received no major appointment from GW.

1No certificate from John Ewing and David Rittenhouse is now among the applications for office in DLC:GW. Porter may have sent a copy of an earlier certificate, 28 Nov. 1784, signed by Ewing, Rittenhouse, and Thomas Hutchins, recommending Porter for his “Qualifications as a Surveyor and Mathematician, and his Character for Integrity, Diligence and Fidelity” (DNA:PCC, item 78). No certificate from Knox has been found.

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