George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Henry Lee, 11 January 1796

To Henry Lee

Philadelphia 11th Jan. 179[6]1

My dear Sir,

Your letter of the 26th Ulo has been received, & nothing from you since; which is embarrassing to me in the extreme; for not only the nomination of Ch——f J——but an As——te J——dge and Se——y of W——2 are depending upon the answer I expected. And what renders the want of it more unfortunate, if any thing can add to my present perplexity on the occasion is, that the first Monday in next month which happens on the first day of it is the time appointed by Law for the meeting of the Supreme Court of the U.S. in this City at which for particular reasons the Bench ought to be full.3 I will add no more at present than that I am always Yr Affecte



1GW wrote “1795”; however, his docket on the draft reads “1796,” and on a transcript made by George T. Brown from the letter received, the date appears as “1796” (ViHi). The contents, including GW’s reference to Lee’s letter of 26 Dec. 1795, confirm that the correct date is 1796.

2On the transcript the remainder of this sentence reads: “have been suspended on the answer you were to receive from ——.”

3GW is referring to the first section of “An Act to establish Judicial Courts of the United States,” 24 Sept. 1789 (1 Stat. description begins Richard Peters, ed. The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America, from the Organization of the Government in 1789, to March 3, 1845 . . .. 8 vols. Boston, 1845-67. description ends 73–93).

On the draft, GW wrote an additional paragraph, which he struck out: “I am really at a loss to know what measures now to adopt, could I have supposed that it would have taken till this time to have ascertained the opinion of a certain character I should have relinquished the idea altogether.”

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