George Washington Papers

From George Washington to James Monroe, 9 April 1794

To James Monroe

Philadelphia April 9th 1794


In reply to your letter of yesterday, I can assure you with the utmost truth, that I have no other object in nominating men to offices than to fill them with such characters as, in my judgment, or (when they are unknown to me) from such information as I can obtain from others, are best qualified to answer the purposes of their appointment.

Having given you this assurance, I request, if you are possessed of any facts or information, which would disqualify Colo. Hamilton for the mission to which you refer, that you would be so obliging as to communicate them to me in writing. I pledge myself, they shall meet the most deliberate, impartial & candid consideration I am able to give them.1

Colo. Hamilton & others have been mentioned, & have occurred to me as an Envoy for endeavouring by negotiation, to avert the horrors of War.

No one (if the measure should be adopted) is yet absolutely decided on in my mind; but as much will depend, among other things, upon the abilities of the person sent—and his knowledge of the affairs of this Country. And as I alone am responsible for a proper nomination, it certainly behoves me to name such an one as in my judgment combines the requisites for a mission so peculiarly interesting to the peace & happiness of this country.2 With great esteem & regard I am—Sir Your Obedt Hble Servt

Go: Washington

ALS, DLC: Monroe Papers; ADfS, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; LB, DLC:GW.

1For Monroe’s objections to Hamilton’s appointment, see his letter to GW of 11 April.

2For GW’s nomination of John Jay, and not Alexander Hamilton, as a special envoy to Great Britain, see his first letter to the U.S. Senate of 16 April.

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