George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Henry Knox, 17 July 1794

From Henry Knox

War department July 17th 1794


I have the honor to submit to your consideration John Nicholson as a proper person to superintend the Armoury intended to be established at Germantown, and David Ames as a proper person to superintend the Armoury to be established at Springfield.1 I have the honor to be with perfect respect Your obedient Servant

H. Knox


1John Nicholson (c.1737-1807), a Philadelphia gunsmith, was employed as inspector of arms by the War Department at least as early as 1791. Although his appointment letter has not been identified, by July 1794 he was paid as a superintendent as well as an inspector of arms, and a notice of his death stated that he was employed for several years as superintendent of the U.S. armory near Philadelphia (William Simmons to Timothy Pickering, 14 April 1795, DNA: RG 217, War Department Account Reports Book; Poulson’s American Daily Advertiser [Philadelphia], 7 March 1807). Knox wrote David Ames (1760-1847) on 1 Aug. to inform him of his appointment to supervise the armory at Springfield, Mass., and Ames accepted the appointment in his letter to Knox of 7 Aug. (DNA: RG 94, Post Revolutionary War Records). He served as superintendent until 1802. Ames was later involved in the manufacture of paper.

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