Trinity College Dublin February 1st 1797
From your most excellent Speech addressed to Congress upon the opening of the Session; which shewed so fully the able Legislator, the true Patriot, and the Patron of Letters, it appears that the Institution of a College in the united States, on a liberal Plan, wherein Arts & Sciences may be taught with more Precision and to a greater Extent than has hitherto been adopted in that County, is in Contemplation—I have therefore presumed to resort to you, in order to be informed what Encouragement a Clergymen of the Established Church of Ireland, properly qualified to teach the Course of the College of Dublin (which, certainly at least as to Mathematical Learning and Science, is not inferior in Reputation to any in Europe) might expect; should your Wishes be carried into Effect—That my literary Acquirements are adequate to this Purpose, I trust I should make fully and satisfactorily appear, by a Certificate of the Board of this University, and by their Decisions on two Occasions, when I sat as Candidate for a Fellowship, in one of which I lost it by but two Votes, & the other merely by the Casting Voice of the Provost in Favour of My Competitor—You are no Doubt not unacquainted with or Mode of electing Fellows, in this University, where after an Examination for four Days, in all parts of Scientific & Classical Learning, by eight Examiners, Each gives his Suffrage in favour of that Candidate, whom he conceives to be best on the whole answering, not being confined to his own particular branch—As far as relates to My Moral Character, I could procure from the Fellows here & other Characters of Distinction in this Kingdom, Such Credentials as I doubt not would Meet with your Approbation. If I am either premature or informal, in this Application, I hope your Goodness will excuse Me—Influenced by the Respect I feel for your universally admired talents, I could not think of making any more formal Proposal unless sanctioned by yr Approbation. By your Answer (if it is your Pleasure to favour Me with one) I shall be directed as to future Proceedings. I am with due Deference & Respect your most obedt & hble Servt
DLC: Papers of George Washington.