To Alexander Hamilton
Mount Vernon, August 14th 1799
Enclosed are sundry letters (as mentioned on the other side) which have come to my hands, recommending Captain Edmund Taylor and Captain William K. Blue for the Office of Brigade Inspector.
As this Officer is to be appointed by the Inspector General I forward these letters for your consideration; and add, that I have not a personal knowledge of the Gentlemen recommended which can enable me to give any further information respecting their merits or pretensions. With very great regard I am, Sir, Your most obedt Servt
LS, DLC: Hamilton Papers; Df, DLC:GW. Both copies are in Tobias Lear’s hand.
2. Col. Thomas Parker’s letter recommending Edmund Taylor was written from Winchester and dated 23 July: “It is understood that Brigadier General Washington will Command the Brigade of which my Regiment will compose a part. If this shoud be the Case Capt. Edmund Taylor Solicits for the appointment of Brigade Major. He is a young Gentleman of Excellent character of Good Talents has served with Credit in the western army & is a Nephew to the Comodore of that name [Richard Taylor] who with five or six other Brothers served with Reputation in the Revolutionary war. If from what shall be said in his favor you think him worthy of the appointment you will Greatly oblige me by droping a few lines to Genls Hamilton & Washington on the Subject” (DLC: Hamilton Papers).
3. Leven Powell wrote from Middleburg on 29 July: “Capt. William K. Blue of 7th Regt who will deliver this is desirious of being appointed Brigade Major & inspector to the Brigade to which he is annexed. I have not had any personal Acquaintance with this gentleman, but he comes to me well recommended & I have often heard him spoken highly of as an Officer in the Western Army in which it is said he acquitted himself well and particularly in the Character of an Adjutant—From you I am sure he will meet with such aid towards the accomplishment of his wishes as his Merits entitle him to” (DLC: Hamilton Papers).
4. Parker recommended William K. Blue on 26 July: “I did myself the Honor to write to you a few days Ago in favour of Capt. Edmund Taylor of the 8th Regt who wished the appointment of Brigade Major. I am now applied to by Capt. Wm K. Blue of the 7th Regt who wishes a Similar appointment & has Requested me to write to you on the Subject. I have been in the habits of Intimacy with Capt. Blue for a Considerable time & think him a Verry Valuable officer & that he woud fill the post with verry Great propriety. I wrote to you some time ago [letter not found] Stating to you more fully my Opinion of the young Gentleman” (DLC: Hamilton Papers).
5. Writing from Rippon Lodge on 31 July, Thomas Blackburn recommended Blue in these terms: “This will be handed to You by Capt. Blue of the 7th United States Regiment of Infantry; who fills the Vacancy occasioned by the Nonacceptance of Mr Thomas Turner. I have known this Gentn for some Time past—He was, some years ago, a Lieutenant in one of our Regiments and on Service in the Western Army; where, I have been informed, by Officers attached to the same, He conducted himself like a good & brave Officer. He is the Son of an honest industrious Farmer of Berkely County, and was bred in a Counting-House, so that it is presumable, that He has a good Knowledge of Figures: this with a fair Character, which I believe him to posess, promise that He may be an usefull Officer, in more than one military Department in our Army. With Respect to his Views they will be best Known to You through himself” (DLC: Hamilton Papers).