George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Richard Harison, 21 April 1794

From Richard Harison

Philadelphia 21st April 1794


Having been informed that your Excellency has nominated me as Successor to Mr Duane in the Office of District Judge for the New York District, I think it my Duty to mention that from professional Engagements, and the Situation of my private Affairs, I am under the Necessity of declining the Appointment. I should have felt greater Reluctance to this Measure had I not been convinced that there were several Persons, differently situated, who may be disposed to accept the Office, and are qualified to fill it with Reputation to themselves and Advantage to the Public.1

Your Excellency may be assured that the Honor conferred upon me by your late Nomination, as well as the former Marks of your favorable Opinion have made an indelible Impression upon my Memory.2 It will be my Study to merit, and my greatest Pride to maintain a Continuance of your Approbation, the Confidence of my Country, and the Esteem of it’s most virtuous Citizens; and I shall ever remain, with the highest Respect, Sir, Your Excellency’s most obliged and obedt Servt

Rich: Harison

ALS, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters.

1For the nomination of Harison, see GW to U.S. Senate, 16 April (second letter). Harison also may have been influenced by the Senate’s decision on 19 April to postpone further consideration of his nomination (Senate Executive Journal description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America: From the commencement of the First, to the termination of the Nineteenth Congress. Vol. 1. Washington, D.C., 1828. description ends , 152). For GW’s subsequent nomination of John Laurance as judge of the District of New York, see his letter to the U.S. Senate of 5 May (DNA: RG 46, Third Congress, 1793–95, Senate Records of Executive Proceedings, President’s Messages—Executive Nominations).

2Harison currently was serving as the U.S. district attorney for New York (see GW to U.S. Senate, 25 Sept. 1789).

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