George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Alexander Spotswood, 3 October 1793

To Alexander Spotswood

Mount Vernon October 3d 1793

Dr Sir,

Sometime before I left Philadelphia I received a letter from you respecting your Son John, and immediately made known (by letter) to Mr Morris your wishes concerning him; but having received no answer to it, I conclude, & think it may be taken for granted, he has not much to expect from that quarter. Indeed Mr Morris & others in that line, have so many applications to them of this kind and have so many friends & relations for whom they wish to provide that those who are strangers to them have little to expect. My advice therefore is, as soon as your Son shall arrive at Philadelphia, for him to call upon Mr Morris and know at once whether he will give him a birth in his Indiaman, or not, for as he has never answered my letter I cannot, again, apply to him on this subject.1

Since my arrival at this place your letter of the 15th of September has been presented to me but in reply I can only say that from the moment I embarked in my present walk of life, I resolved, most firmly, never to be under any Promise of an office; or to express any sentiment which could be construed into the most distent intimation of one, until the hour of nomination should arrive; and then, under a full view of the merits and pretensions of the different Candidates to name the person who seemed best qualified for the office; without suffering myself to be influenced in the Smallest degree by my friendship—Relationships—or local attachments of any sort or kind whatsoever.

I do not doubt but that Mr Brooke is a Gentleman of merit, but as your letter is the first intimation I have had that the Naval Office at Hobshole is likely to become vacant, I have made no enquiry as yet into the pretensions to, or fitness of any one to supply his place—whenever this event shall happen Mr Brooke request will be considered with others; and wherever the preponderancy is, there my duty to the public requires me to fix. With my love to Mrs Spotswood and the family, in which Mrs Washington joins me, I remain Dr Sir your Affecte Sert

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