Hd Qrs near Passaic Falls Octr 23d 1780
I have just received your Letter of the 29th Ult. and have to inform you; that at the same time I am greatly obliged by the favorable sentiments of me, you are pleased to express and the tender of personal services you make: I do not find myself at liberty to accept the Offer, in the way you propose, without deviating from the line of conduct I have long since adopted.
After declining several proposals of the same kind, from Gentlemen in nearly the same situation, it would be impossible to apologize to them for giving a preference to a posterior application—Besides the reason is much more forcible, at this period than it formerly has been, for appointing Gentlemen from the line of the Army (if I should have occasion to augment my Family)—Because by the reduction of the Army in contemplation, many valuable Officers now in service, will be totally unprovided for—Your candor & justice will acknowledge the first attention ought to be paid to these.
I entreat you therefore to believe that there is nothing personal in the objection; but on the contrary you may rest assured, the memory of Your gallant Father; and your own reputation will always entitle you to every mark of consideration and esteem from Sir Your Most Obedient Humble Servt
DLC: Papers of George Washington.