George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Daniel Morgan, 10 April 1799

To Daniel Morgan

Mount Vernon April 10th 1799

Dear Sir,

I had the pleasure to receive your letter of the 3d instant, covering the Copy of a letter from Captn A.C. Randolph to yourself, expressing a wish to be removed from the Infantry to the Cavalry. These letters I have forwarded to the Secretary of War, who, I have no doubt, will, considering the favourable auspices under which Captn Randolph is introduced, make any arrangement he can, consistent with the good of the service, to promote his wishes.1

I take the liberty to enclose to your care a letter from General Hamilton, the Inspector General of the Armies of the United States, to Colo. Thomas Parker. This letter relates to the recruiting service, which is under the direction of the Inspector General, and it is desireable that it should get to Colo. Parkers hands as soon as possible: I have, therefore, put it under cover to you as being the most sure and direct mode of conveyance.2

I assure you, my dear Sir, it gave me not a little pleasure to find the account of your death in the new’s papers was not founded in fact3—and I sincerely pray that many years may elapse before that event takes place, and that in the meantime, you may be restored to the full enjoyment of your health, and to your usefulness in Society, being, with very great regard Your sincere friend & servt

Go: Washington

LS, in Tobias Lear’s hand, NN: Myers Collection; copy, in Albin Rawlins’s hand, DLC:GW.

1The letter of 3 April that Morgan wrote to GW has not been found, but in his letter to Alexander Hamilton of that date Morgan appended this postscript: “I have wrote duplicates of the above to the Secretary of War [James McHenry] & Genl Washington.” Morgan’s letter to Hamilton reads: “I take the liberty to inclose you a letter from Major Archibald C. Randolph on the subject of his appointment in the Army of the United States. Knowing him intimately I can with certainty pronounce that his talents as a Soldier declare him better calculated for the Cavalry than the Infantry, his virtues as a man are such as give him universal estimation among those who know how to appreciate merit, confident that you are ever rendered happy in being the means of forwarding virtue to its wished for ends, I must intreat your assistance in procuring for Major Randolph the appointment expressed in his letter by him to me. Major Randolph has seen considerable service he marched in 1794 against the Insurgents, commanding one of the best Troops of Cavalry in the Virginia line, in which service he continued three months, on the dismission of the Army he was appointed to the command of a Squadron of Cavalry, and attached to the Army I had the honor to command, where he served six months longer. On the disbanding this Army, I promoted him to the rank of Major, and gave him the command of a Battalion for a further six months service, those troops he march’d to Presqe-Ile—in those situations as stated above he conducted himself with so much attention, discipline & vigilance as to gain the hearts and wishes of all those who had the pleasure of his acquaintance. I cannot conclude this letter without declaring to you, that I think him calculated to make a great officer” (DLC: Hamilton Papers). See also GW to McHenry, 7 April (second letter).

3Morgan left Congress in late February because of illness, and on 18 April 1799 a letter from Morgan appeared in the Columbian Mirror and Alexandria Advertiser in which Morgan says his family had despaired of his life, but the erroneous notice of his death to which GW refers has not been found.

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