George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Eager Howard, 4 September 1793

From John Eager Howard

Belvidere [Md.] 4th Septr 1793


Immediately upon the receipt of your Excellencys letter of the 25th ult. I wrote by the post to Capt. Kilty at Annapolis, to know whether the appointment of Collector of Annapolis would be agreeable to him, and I delayed answering your letter in hopes of being able to communicate his determination; but have not yet heard from him.1

I very much doubt his acceptance of that office, as the Salary, I am informed is only two hundred dollars, and the fees very trifling, so that it would not be equal to his Salary as a member of the Council.

I have also had conversation with Capt. Plunkett respecting Mr Purviance; Capt. Plunkett thinks that office would not suit him, as his great object is a situation that would enable him to take a house and support his Sisters who at present are dispersed among their friends.2

Mr Delozier is well acquainted with the duties of the office to which he is appointed, and I am persuaded he will execute the trust with reputation to himself, and to the satisfaction of the publick.

Permit me to express my ardent wishes that you may not be exposed to the malignant fever which at this time rages in Philadelphia, and the great respect with which I have the honor to be Your Excellencys Obedt Servt

J. E. Howard

P.S. Since writing the above I have received Capt. Kilty’ answer to my letter, which I take the liberty of enclosing to your Excellency, though I ought to make an apoligy for giving you the trouble of reading so long a letter3—With the highest respect—I have the honor to be Yr Obedt Servt

J. E. Howard

ALS, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters.

1After choosing to nominate Daniel Delozier as surveyor for the port of Baltimore, rather than John Kilty, whom Howard had suggested, GW asked Howard if Kilty would accept the post of collector at Annapolis (Howard to GW, 13 Aug., and GW to Howard, 25 Aug.).

2David Plunket had recommended John H. Purviance for the surveyor position (Plunket to GW, 7 Aug.). GW’s second choice for the collector’s office at Annapolis was Purviance, but he eventually appointed John Randall to the post (GW to John Eager Howard, 25 Aug., and to U.S. Senate, 27 Dec.).

3The enclosure has not been identified, but in addition to declining the Annapolis post Kilty apparently complained about the process by which the decision about the Baltimore surveyor was made (see Kilty to GW, 23 July 1794, DLC:GW). GW replied to Howard from Mount Vernon on 16 Sept.: “⟨On my way home, I met at the Post Office in Alexandria, your favor of the 4th instant, enclosing Mr Kilty’s letter to you; the latter I return without any comment upon it.⟩

“My compliments if you please to Mrs Howard; and praying you to accept my thanks for the expression of your kind wishes for my health, I remain with very great esteem & regard Dear Sir Your most Obedt Servant” (ALS [fragment], owned 1991 by The Gallery of History; ADfS, PPRF; LB, DLC:GW. The text in angle brackets is taken from the ADfS).

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