George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Hugh West, 11 April 1798

To Hugh West

Mount Vernon 11th April 1798


In reply to your letter of this date,1 I inform you that when I left the Chair of Government, I resolved not to intermeddle in any appointments which should take place by vacancies, in offices, thereafter. From this determination I have not departed in any instance, although sollicited for recommendations in an hundred.

If the certificate of your good behaviour (while you wrote in my Office in Philadelphia) would avail any thing, you have my free permission to use it;2 and wishing you success in your application for the office lately occupied by Mr Vincent Gray3—and well in every other respect. I remain with esteem Sir Your Very Humble Servt

Go: Washington

ALS, DNA: RG 59, State Department.

1Letter not found.

2The certificate, dated at Mount Vernon 15 Aug. 1792, for Hugh West (c.1755–1801), the youngest son of John West, Jr. (d. 1777), of Fairfax County, reads: “Mr Hugh West, the bearer of this, is of a very respectable family in the State of Virginia. He has written in the Office of my private Secretary as a recording Clerk the last twelve months, and has conducted himself soberly—diligently & with great prudence. I have every reason to believe that he is a person of good moral character, & strict of integrity. Given under my hand at Mount Vernon this 15th day of August 1792. Go: Washington” (DLC:GW). See also Hugh West to GW, 6 Aug. 1791.

3Vincent Gray had been surveyor of the customs and inspector of the revenue for Alexandria since 1793.

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