George Washington Papers

From George Washington to the United States Senate, 4 March 1791

To the United States Senate

United States March 4th 1791.

Gentlemen of the Senate,

The Act for the admission of the State of Vermont into this Union having fixed on this, as the day of its admission, it was thought that this would also be the first day on which any Officer of the Union might legally perform any act of authority relating to that State.1 I therefore required your attendance to receive nominations of the several Officers necessary to put the federal Government into motion in that State.2

For this purpose I nominate

Nathaniel Chipman to be Judge of the District of Vermont—

Stephen Jacobs to be Attorney for the United States in the District of Vermont—

Lewis R. Morris to be Marshall of the District of Vermont—and

Stephen Keyes to be Collector of the Port of Allburgh in the State of Vermont.3

Go: Washington

LS, DNA: RG 46, Second Congress, 1791–1793, Records of Executive Proceedings, President’s Messages—Executive Nominations; LB, DLC:GW.

2On 1 Mar. GW called the Senate into special session to consider nominations of federal officers for Vermont, as well as nominations of excise supervisors and army officers. The special session met on 4 Mar. (see GW to John Adams, 1 Mar. 1791).

3For the applications of Chipman and Morris, see Chipman to GW, 22 Feb. 1791, and Morris to GW, 22 Feb. 1791. Stephen Keyes (1753–1804) was born in Connecticut and served as a lieutenant in the Continental army in 1776. He later established himself as a merchant in Vermont and in 1790 was a resident of Burlington. In his report on candidates for offices in Vermont, Thomas Jefferson noted that Keyes was suggested as a suitable candidate for marshal (see Nathaniel Chipman to GW, 22 Feb. 1791, n.1). Stephen Jacob (1755–1817) graduated from Yale in 1778 and read law with Theodore Sedgwick. He served in the Vermont legislature in 1781, 1788, and 1794 and as state attorney in 1786. The Senate confirmed all of these nominations on 4 Mar. 1791 (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 2:129).

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