George Washington Papers

From George Washington to the United States Senate, 17 April 1792

To the United States Senate

United States [Philadelphia]
April 17th 1792.

Gentlemen of the Senate,

I nominate James O Hara,1 of Pennsylvania, to be Quarter Master General of the Army of the United States, vice Samuel Hodgdon.

Go: Washington

DS, DNA: RG 46, Second Congress, 1791–1793, Records of Executive Proceedings—Executive Nominations; LB, DLC:GW.

Tobias Lear delivered this message to the Senate on 18 April. On the next day the Senate considered the nomination, advised and consented to the appointment, and ordered that the president be so informed (Executive Journal, description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America: From the commencement of the First, to the termination of the Nineteenth Congress. Vol. 1. Washington, D.C., 1828. description ends 1:120). Lear wrote Henry Knox on 19 April informing him of the Senate’s concurrence with O’Hara’s nomination (DLC:GW).

1James O’Hara (1754–1819), a native of County Mayo, Ireland, attended the Jesuit College of St. Sulpice in Paris before becoming an ensign in the British Coldstream Guards in 1770. After resigning his commission he immigrated to Philadelphia in 1772 and soon settled at Pittsburgh. His backcountry excursions as an employee of the traders Devereaux Smith and Ephraim Douglas introduced him to Indians and frontier lands, the latter of which he began to purchase. During the Revolutionary War, O’Hara was a captain in the 3d Virginia Regiment, and he served with George Rogers Clark in the Ohio Country. In 1781 O’Hara was appointed commissary of the general hospital at Carlisle, Pa., and during the last years of the war, he served under Gen. Nathanael Greene as an assistant quartermaster. After opening a general store in Pittsburgh in 1784, O’Hara began supplying the U.S. Army as a government contractor. As a presidential elector in 1789, he cast his vote for GW. O’Hara played an active role in Maj. Gen. Anthony Wayne’s 1794 expedition, during which he negotiated with the Indians, inspected forts, and traveled extensively to purchase food and clothing. He resigned his commission as quartermaster in May 1796 but remained active as a government contractor until 1802.

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