George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Carlile, 23 December 1790

From John Carlile

Harford Maryland Decr 23rd 1790


I can be of use to you in the execution of the duties of Inspector to the Malitia of Maryland, If your Excellency thinks me worthy of the Appointment, I am confident that I can give Satisfaction to yourself and the State1—I am very respectfully Yr Excellency’s Mo. Ob. servt

John Carlile

If necessary any recommendation can easily be obtained.


John Carlile served as a captain in the Continental army from 1777 to 1783.

1Elias Boudinot presented “a bill more effectually to provide for the national defence, by establishing a uniform militia throughout the United States” in the House of Representatives on 14 Dec. 1790. Section 17 of the proposed legislation specified that each state should be divided into one or more districts, and “that there shall be appointed by the President of the United States, an inspector for each district, who shall be a citizen of the state to which such district belongs; provided their number shall not exceed—one for New-Hampshire, two for Massachusetts, one for Rhode-Island, one for Connecticut, one for New-York, one for New-Jersey, two for Pennsylvania, one for Delaware, one for Maryland, three for Virginia, two for North-Carolina, one for South-Carolina, and one for Georgia.” The inspectors were to attend the regimental or battalion meetings of the militia at least once a year to inspect their arms, superintend their exercises, and establish a uniform discipline throughout the district and to report on the condition of the militia in their district to the president. Debate over the bill continued until 29 Dec. 1790, when the measure was recommitted. Jeremiah Wadsworth introduced a new bill on 4 Jan. 1791, which was read and committed to the committee of the whole on 5 Jan. 1791. The measure received no further consideration before the expiration of the First Congress (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 5:1458–72). GW nonetheless received several applications for the post of militia inspector between December 1790 and February 1791.

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