George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Thomas Peter, 1–2 February 1799

From Thomas Peter

George-Town [Md.] 1st[–2] Feby 1799

Dear Sir

Your esteemed favor of this date was handed to me by Charles.1 My Brother George begs you will accept his sincere thanks for your letter of Recommendation to the Secretary of War, and I feel myself highly indebted to you for your friendship in this business.2

It is my opinion your observations are very correct with respect to the removal of the Seat of Government before the appointed time. Since I wrote you3 there has been a Town meeting in consequence of Letters received from the Secretary of the Navey, the people in G.T. & the City have agreed to take into their own families to Board all the Members 2⟨6/⟩ pr Week & the Gentn that were appointed by the Meeting will report to Mr Stoddert To morrow that they have engaged Houses, conditionally at a very low Rent, and a sufficient number to accomodate the officers of Government &c. &c., but I sincerely wish Mr Stodderts zeal in this business may not be productive of more consequences than he is aware off, & should not be at all surprised if there were political manoeuvering by the Enemies of the City with him. We are all as usual excepting Eleanor who has just got some thing of the Hives, we have given her Wine drops & Bathe’d her and I think she is much easier in her breathing already & hope by the morning she will be restor’d to health again. I am, Dear Sir Yours with regard

Thomas Peter

2nd Feby 99. Eleanor this morning is tolerably well.

Copy (photocopy), ViMtvL.

1Letter not found. GW’s coachman Charles often acted as a messenger.

2GW wrote to James McHenry on 1 Feb.: “Dear Sir, The extract which follows, is from Mr Thomas Peter, who married Patsey Custis.

“‘I am applied to by my brother to address and solicit you for an appointment in the Army. He would prefer being in the Cavalry if there are any vacancys, if not, in the Infantry. He appears to be fond of a Soldiers life & from his abilities and disposition, I should suppose he might make a useful man.’

“The young Gentleman in whose behalf this application is made is between 18 & twenty years of age; likely, well grown and of good behaviour. He is the Son of Mr Robert Peter of George Town, whom probably you know, and that all the family of them are warm Federalists. I am Dear Sir Your Most Obedt Hble Servt Go: Washington” (letterpress copy, DLC:GW). He wrote to McHenry again on 24 April: “Dear Sir, This letter and its enclosure, will be presented to you by Mr George Peter, whose wishes I made known to you in a former letter. He is Son to Mr Robert Peter of George Town, and as far as my information goes, is an amiable young man.

“His former application pointed more particularly to the Cavalry, but he is equally willing to receive an appointment in the Infantry. His appearance is much in his favour and as he proposes to wait on you in person I shall only add that I am Dear Sir Your Most Obedt Hble Servt Go: Washington” (letterpress copy, DLC:GW).

3No letter from Thomas Peter more recent than 10 Sept. has been found.

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