George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Chalmers, 28 September 1794

From William Chalmers

Fortrose [Scotland] Septr 28th 1794


Tho I have not the honour of your acquaintance I am no Stranger to your amiable Character which encourages me to apply to you in this singular manner. My Inclinations, lead me to go abroad, & to visit these Lands of Liberty over which you preside, but my Friends & Relations oppose my Inclinations & are anxious to get a Settlement for me in the Church of Scotland. For some years past I have been employed in teaching the learned-Languages, Arithmetic, Bookkeeping, Geometry, and the practical parts of Geometry and if you will have the goodness to consider my Case & to appoint me to a Clerical Charge in any of the United Provinces of America, I shall endeavour to make myself as useful as possible both as a Preacher & Teacher of an Academy there. My Address is William Chalmers Rector of the Grammar School of Fortrose North Britain. If you will do me the honour to answer this Letter I shall without loss of time transmit to you the most satisfactory Attestations both of my moral Character & of my Abilities and Success as a Teacher. As I am a Young Man and clogged with no Family I can be ready to set sail for America upon the shortest Notice. I have the honour to be Sir Your most obdt hble Servant

William Chalmers

P.S. I had the honour to dine with General-Sir Hector Munro of Novar some Days ago, & I find that by his Influence with General Williamson Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica that I am to be appointed to one of the first vacancies in the established Church there.1 It is the opinion however of all my Connections that that Climate will not agree with my Constitution & it is their wish (which by the by is my own likewise) that since I am determined to go abroad that I should go to America. Your Excellencie’s answer however will determine my fate.2 W.C.

ALS, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters. The cover, which indicates the letter was sent "Pr the Packet," is also marked "Newport 17th March."

1Hector Munro (1726-1805) was at this time colonel (ranking as general) of the British army’s 42nd Regiment of Foot. His estate Novar was located in Cromartyshire in the Scots highlands, and he represented the Inverness boroughs in Parliament for more than 30 years.

Adam Williamson (1736-1798) was at this time colonel (ranking as major general) of the 72nd Regiment of Foot and lieutenant governor (acting governor) and commander in chief of Jamaica. In October 1794 he was appointed governor of the British protectorate established on Saint Domingue after he invaded that island in September 1793.

2No response to this letter has been identified.

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