George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Andrew Moore, 17 September 1789

From Andrew Moore

New York Sepr 17th 1789


The judicial Bill now before us requires that a martial should be appointed in each district It is with reluctance I mention a person Who I consider as qualified to discharge the duties of that office And would not have presumd to have thus held up to your view—Had I not been informd that you wisht to be informd of such Characters as might have Pretensions—Colo. Jno. Steel of Virginia I consider as well qualified to fill such an office1 He has been some time engagd in Studying the Law—And has for some Years been Employd in a Clerks office—I expect he has acquird a sufficient legal knowledge for the Discharge of the duties—Colo. Steel early in the War Was appointed an Ensign in the Ninth Virginia Regiment And Servd to the End He has been high in the Estimation of his Acquaintances—not only in the Army But in private life—should you Consider Colo. Steel As worthy your Attention in this Business—I beg leave to refer you to Colo. Grayson—General Matthews and Genl Muhlenburgh for his Character His present Situation is not so Comfortable as I think his Merits Entitle him to—this Sir Was one reason with me for thus Presenting him to View And I hope will plead my Excuse. I have the Honor to be With respt & Esteem your Mt Obt Sert

Aw Moore


Andrew Moore (1752–1821), a Virginia lawyer, was a member of that state’s delegation to the House of Representatives. Moore served during the Revolution in the Continental army and the Virginia militia and from 1785 to 1788 was a member of the Virginia legislature. In 1788 he attended the Virginia Ratifying Convention.

1John Steele (c.1755–1817) of Augusta County, Va., served in the Augusta militia in 1774 and with other Virginia forces to the end of the Revolution. As a delegate from Nelson County, Ky., he voted against ratification of the Constitution at the Virginia convention. In June 1790 GW appointed Steele a lieutenant in the United States Army. He was, however, elected to the Virginia Council of State in November 1790 and therefore declined the appointment (DHFC description begins Linda Grant De Pauw et al., eds. Documentary History of the First Federal Congress of the United States of America, March 4, 1789-March 3, 1791. 20 vols. to date. Baltimore, 1972–. description ends , 2:73, 131; Journals of the Council of State of Virginia, description begins H. R. McIlwaine et al., eds. Journals of the Council of the State of Virginia. 5 vols. Richmond, 1931–82. description ends 5:405–6). Steele served on the Virginia council until 1796. In 1798 John Adams appointed him secretary of the Mississippi Territory.

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