George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Miles Merwin, 13 June 1793

From Miles Merwin

Philadelphia June 13th 1793

May it please the President,

Having received information that, Mr Lear, Your private Secretary has resigned his Office, this address is designed as an application for it, if it is not already supplied.1

If Your Excellency should think this request deserving an answer it can be conveyed to me by Master Custis at my Schoolhouse, or by a Servant at my dwelling north second street No. 191.2

Relying on your generosity alone, to pardon my assurance in making this application, without any other apology, I have the honour to subscribe myself your Excellency’s most obedient and very humble servant

Miles Merwin


1On Tobias Lear’s resignation, see GW to D.C. Commissioners, 13 June 1793.

2GW wrote to Merwin on 16 June: “I thank you for making a tender of your Services to me to supply the place of Mr Lear. At present, I have no intention of adding any one to my family for this purpose” (ADfS, owned [1970] by Dr. Victor M. J. Weil, Paterson, N.J.; LB, DLC:GW). Merwin apparently had established his own school after having been a teacher at the Friends’ Latin School in Philadelphia, 1790–c.1792 (Jean S. Straub, “Teaching in the Friends’ Latin School of Philadelphia in the Eighteenth Century,” Pa. Mag. description begins Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography. 139 vols. to date. 1877–. description ends [October 1967], 91:445). He and his wife, Mary Perkins (b. 1765), died later in 1793 during the yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia (Carey, Short Account of the Malignant Fever description begins Mathew Carey. A Short Account of the Malignant Fever, Lately Prevalent in Philadelphia: With a Statement of the Proceedings that took place on the Subject, in Different Parts of the United States . . .. 1794. Reprint. New York, 1970. description ends , 147). On 17 May 1793, GW had paid Merwin $13.25 for “a qtr tuition” for George Washington Parke Custis, Martha Washington’s grandson (Household Accounts description begins Presidential Household Accounts, 1793–97. Manuscript, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. description ends ).

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