Memorandum on a Statement by James Craik
[Mount Vernon, 7 September 1792]1
Agreeably to your request, I shewed Mr Campbells letter, to you, to the P. of the U:S: who appeared to be exceedingly surprised at the contents, and at the liberty which had been taken in making declarations for him which he had never made for himself. He added, that to the best of his recollection, he never exchanged a word with Bushrod Washington on the subject of Colo. Mercers Election, much less to have given a decided opinion of his fitness or unfitness to represent the district for which he is a Candidate. That such a measure would have been inconsistent with the rule he has prescribed to himself, and which he has invariably observed of not interfering directly, nor indirectly with the suffrages of the people in the choice of their Representatives. And said he wished that Bushrod Washington might be called upon to certify what, or whether any conversation of the kind ever passed between them on this subject as it was his desire that every thing might stand upon it’s proper foundation.2
The above, is what Doctr Craik was authorised to say, or write to Mr Fendal, on the subject of a letter from Mr Campbell to him signifying that Colo. Mercer or some of his friends were reporting that I had to B[ushrod]. W[ashington]: declard that he was the best Representative in Congress & that it was my earnest wish that he should be re-chosen by the State of Maryland.3
AD, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; LB, DLC:GW.
1. GW wrote this date on the docket of his retained copy, and the same date appears on the letter-book copy.
2. This paragraph is enclosed in quotation marks in the letter-book copy. John Francis Mercer was a successful candidate in 1792 for election from Maryland to the U.S. House of Representatives. For Mercer’s denial that he inappropriately used GW’s name in his election campaign, see his letter to GW of 15 Sept. 1792. For GW’s chastisement of Mercer, see GW to Mercer, 26 Sept. 1792.
3. Philip Richard Fendall, a resident and merchant of Alexandria, Va., was a frequent visitor to Mount Vernon before GW’s election to the presidency (see Harriot Washington to GW, 2 April 1790, source note, and GW to Philip Richard Fendall, 22 Oct. 1788, source note). William Campbell of Maryland served in John Fulford’s matross company of Anne Arundel County, Md., during the Revolutionary War, and he was promoted to captain on 31 May 1777. His letter to Fendall has not been identified, but GW quotes from it in his letter to John F. Mercer of 26 September.