George Washington Papers

From George Washington to David Stuart, 20 January 1794

To David Stuart

Philadelphia 20th Jany 1794

Dear Sir,

Your letter of the 6th instant came duly to hand. As you appear to have taken a final determination, I can say nothing more on the subject of its disclosure than that it would have been pleasing to me if it had been convenient to yourselves, that those who began shd have compleated the work; and not to have left the harvest to your labours to be reaped by others.1

As you are better acquainted than I am with characters in the vicinity of the federal City, and with those not so remote as to make an attendance therein inconvenient: Know also the connections of individuals in point of interest with the same, & how far those connections ought to disqualify them for Commissioners, I would thank you for the names, of such as in your judgment are most likely to subserve the public purposes. Wishing as I do to make a good choice of successors, every aid I can derive towards the accomplishment of it would be gratefully received.2

Well qualified men might perhaps be had in George Town, or among the Proprietors;3 but how far their local, & perhaps jarring interests and views might render them unfit for the trust, being questionable, your opinion thereon would be agreeable to Dear Sir Your Obedt & Affecte Servt

Go: Washington

ALS, NbO; ALS (letterpress copy), DLC:GW; LB, DLC:GW.

1On Stuart’s appointment as one of the three original commissioners for the District of Columbia, see Commission, 22 Jan. 1791. For his intention to resign this commission as of 1 March, see his letter to GW of 6 January. Stuart, however, did not terminate his service until July (4–6, 27–31 July 1794 minutes, DNA: RG 42, Records of the Commissioners for the District of Columbia, Proceedings, 1791–1802).

2For the individuals suggested by Stuart, see his letter to GW of 6 February. In August and September 1794, GW appointed, respectively, Gustavus Scott and William Thornton to replace Stuart and Thomas Johnson, who also resigned from the D.C. Commission this year (GW to Tobias Lear, 28 Aug. 1794, DLC:GW; Harris, William Thornton Papers description begins C. M. Harris, ed. Papers of William Thornton: Volume One, 1781-1802. Charlottesville, Va., 1995. description ends , 1:287).

3On the proprietors of the Federal District, see source note to Agreement of the Proprietors of the Federal District, 30 March 1791.

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