George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Thomas Johnson, 24 August 1795

To Thomas Johnson

Philadelphia 24th Augt 1795

My dear Sir,

The Office of Secretary of State is vacant—occasioned by the resignation of Mr Randolph.1 Will you accept it? You know my wishes of old, to bring you into the Administration2—Where then is the necessity of repeating them? No time more than the present, ever required the aid of your abilities—nor of the old and proved patriots3 of this Country.

To have yours would be pleasing to me, and I verily believe it would be agreeable also to the community at large. It is with you to decide. if in the affirmative return to me the letter here with enclosed,4 and I will communicate further with you on this subject, the moment you inform me thereof. If it is in the negative, be so good as to forward the letter by Post, agreeably to its address: and at any rate write me the result of your determination as soon as you can, after the receipt of this letter, as I only remain here to get this, and some other matters arranged before I go to Virginia for my family.5 With sincere esteem & regd I am—My dear Sir Your obedient and Affectionate Servt

Go: Washington

ALS, NjMoNP: Smith Collection; ADfS, DLC:GW; LB, DLC:GW. The draft and letter-book copies are marked as private. For GW’s additional instructions concerning this communication, see his letter to Johnson dated 26 August.

Secretary of War Timothy Pickering served also as secretary of state ad interim while GW sought a replacement for Edmund Randolph.

1For Randolph’s resignation, see his first letter to GW of 19 Aug., and GW to Randolph, 20 August.

2In the draft, GW initially wrote “one of the highest offices of State” before substituting the two previous words.

3The letter-book copy has this word as “talents.”

4GW enclosed his letter of this date to Charles Cotesworth Pinckney of South Carolina.

5GW left Philadelphia for Mount Vernon on 8 Sept. (see Diaries, description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends 6:211).

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