George Washington Papers

To George Washington from James McHenry, 20 July 1794

From James McHenry

Fayetteville [Md.] 20th July 1794


Before my setting out for the springs which will be on wednesday permit me again to bring into your recollection Mr George Salmon whose worth and qualities as a citizen has been the cause of my having heretofore ventured to solicit you in his behalf.1 I am very sensible to the difficulties attendant on your situation and the serious embarrassments you must frequently experience in deciding between opposite combinations in favour of competitors for office, where you do not yourself possess a full knowlege of their respective characters talents and pretensions, at the same time I hope that some occasion may occur when there will be no impropriety in your wieghing the pretensions of Mr Salmon with those who may appear with a more numerous train of recommendations. Mr Salmon is much esteemed by his fellow citizens, and I believe no one could obtain a stronger general certificate in his behalf, were such a certificate considered indispensible, or necessary as an evidence of their esteem or proof of his talents; but permit me to add, that I am sincerely persuaded that you will be directed should any vacancy occur in the customs or naval office by the removal of Mr Purviance,2 by those disinterested and just rules and motives which have heretofore distinguished your official determinations in like cases.

I intreat you to forgive me for this tribute to a worthy and deserving citizen, and believe me to be with wishes for a continuance of your health very truely your most obt & humbl. st

James McHenry


1McHenry had written GW on 29 Jan. 1791 to recommend Salmon for the post of excise collector, and in a letter to GW of 8 Aug. 1793, he described Salmon as "perfectly qualified to discharge the highest office in the customs" (both DLC:GW). McHenry was intending to travel to the Sweet Springs in Virginia. The following Wednesday was 23 July.

2In another letter to GW of this date, McHenry recommended Robert Purviance, the naval officer at Baltimore, for appointment as collector (see Purviance to GW, 19 July, n.1).

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